Every 45 seconds, someone tragically takes their own life, resulting in approximately 703,000 suicides worldwide each year. The impact of suicide reaches far beyond the individual, leaving behind a wake of grief and affecting the lives of countless others. It is imperative that we address not only suicide itself but also the underlying mental health issues that contribute to these tragic outcomes.
World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), serves as a global initiative to raise awareness about the preventability of suicide. On the 10th of September each year, it aims to reduce stigma, promote collaboration among organizations and governments, and foster public awareness. This united effort sends a powerful message: suicidal death is not only a personal matter but a pressing public health concern with far-reaching consequences.
“Creating Hope Through Action”
The triennial theme for World Suicide Prevention Day from 2021 to 2023 is “Creating Hope Through Action.” This theme serves as a poignant reminder that there is always an alternative to suicide. It inspires us to foster hope and prompts us to recognize that there is light at the end of the tunnel. By seeking help and supporting one another, we can overcome the challenges that contribute to thoughts of suicide.
World Suicide Prevention Day emphasizes the importance of not only preventing suicide but also ensuring access to mental health services. Key objectives include promoting collaboration among stakeholders, empowering individuals to address self-harm and suicide through preventative action, and facilitating open discussions about mental health in various settings, including homes, schools, and workplaces.
To achieve these objectives, it is crucial to build the capacity of healthcare providers and other relevant actors, deliver positive and informative messages to the general population and at-risk groups, and encourage dialogue about mental health. Additionally, individuals who have experienced or are contemplating suicide are encouraged to share their stories and seek professional help.
Know if you are at risk
- Suffered a job or financial loss
- Have been or are in a situation that produced trauma or abuse
- Experienced mental and/or substance use disorders
- Have limited access or no access to health care
If you or a loved one is thinking about taking their own life or having thoughts about self-harm, please look for counseling. Let us stand united in our commitment to saving lives. By raising awareness, reducing stigma, and fostering supportive environments, we can create a society where mental health is prioritized and individuals feel empowered to seek help. Remember, there is always hope, and by taking action together, we can save lives, one person at a time.