World Suicide Prevention 2018 --
World Suicide Prevention Day
World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 each year to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death.
One hand holding another hand.
World Suicide Prevention Day promotes issues such as suicide prevention.
What Do People Do?
World Suicide Prevention Day gives organizations, government agencies and individuals a chance to promote awareness about suicide, mental illnesses associated with suicide, as well as suicide prevention. Organizations such as the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and World Health Organization (WHO) play a key role in promoting this event.
Events and activities for World Suicide Prevention Day include:
The launch of new government initiatives to prevent suicide.
Conferences, open days, educational seminars or public lectures.
Media programs promoting suicide awareness and prevention.
Memorial services or candlelight ceremonies to remember those who died from suicide.
Organizing cultural or spiritual events, fairs or exhibitions.
Launches of publications about suicide awareness and prevention.
Training courses about suicide and depression awareness.
Many of these initiatives are celebrated in various countries worldwide. Some of these events and activities are held at a local level, while others are nation-wide. Many communities around the world reaffirm their commitment to suicide prevention on World Suicide Prevention Day.
World Suicide Prevention Day is not a public holiday.
Nearly 3000 people on average die by suicide daily, according to WHO. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. About one million people die by suicide each year. Suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death which is influenced by psychosocial, cultural and environmental risk factors that can be prevented through worldwide responses that address these main risk factors. There is strong evidence indicating that adequate prevention can reduce suicide rates.
World Suicide Prevention Day, which first started in 2003, is annually held on September 10 each year as an IASP initiative. WHO co-sponsors this event. World Suicide Prevention Day aims to:
Raise awareness that suicide is preventable.
Improve education about suicide.
Spread information about suicide awareness.
Decrease stigmatization regarding suicide.
WHO and IASP work with governments and other partners to ensure that suicide is no longer stigmatized, criminalized or penalized. WHO's role is to build political action and leadership to develop national responses to prevent suicide, strengthen national planning capacity to establish the core building blocks of such a national response, and build the national capacities to implement these responses.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
What leads to suicide?
There’s no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. Yet it’s important to note that most people who actively manage their mental health conditions go on to engage in life.
Suicide Warning Signs
Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.
If a person talks about:
Having no reason to live
Being a burden to others
Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change:
Increased use of alcohol or drugs
Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods
Withdrawing from activities
Isolating from family and friends
Sleeping too much or too little
Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
Giving away prized possessions
People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:
Loss of interest
Suicide Risk Factors
Risk factors are characteristics or conditions that increase the chance that a person may try to take their life.
Mental health conditions
Substance use problems
Personality traits of aggression, mood changes and poor relationships
Serious physical health conditions including pain
Traumatic brain injury
Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs
Prolonged stress, such as harassment, bullying, relationship problems or unemployment
Stressful life events, like rejection, divorce, financial crisis, other life transitions or loss
Exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide
Previous suicide attempts
Family history of suicide
Childhood abuse, neglect or trauma