World Suicide Prevention Day - Things to Know about it

World Suicide Prevention Day - Things to Know about it
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 15-03-2023

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About World Suicide Prevention Day

In order to spread awareness about suicide cases and actions taken worldwide to prevent them, World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on 10th September every year. It is co-sponsored by World Health Organization and World Federation for Mental Health. Several activities and events are organized worldwide to let people know that suicides can also be prevented.

World suicide prevention Day Date

World suicide prevention day will be celebrated on 10th September 2023.

The theme is ‘working together to prevent suicide. This theme was picked because it emphasizes the most important aspect- collaboration. It is an event to help people fight suicidal thoughts and eliminate premature deaths worldwide. The aim of the organization is to collect data on suicidal behavior, determine the various causes of suicide, and why it goes unnoticed. Further, it aims to develop sound practices and policies for suicide prevention. Precisely, today, according to the world suicide data more than 800,000 people commit suicide every year.

Reports show that every 40 seconds a person dies of suicide. Furthermore, for every adult who commits suicide, there have been more than 20 others who attempt such self-destructive action. Moreover, the World Health Organization Data of 2016 shows suicidal deaths are accounted for 1.4% of the total deaths globally, which makes it the 18th leading cause of death. Additionally, the statistics state that in all European countries, suicide is more common among men, and suicidal attempts are more common among females. The highest suicide rate in the world in 2012 was in Guyana (44.2), which was followed by South Korea (28.1), and Sri Lanka (28.8). Notably, the lowest suicide rate according to the statistics of WHO was in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, and Lebanon, where the suicide rate is less than 1 per 100000 people.

In order to reduce suicidal acts, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has organized Suicide Prevention Day in the world to make people aware that suicides can be prevented. Notably, the ongoing pandemic has majorly affected the mental health of people. Low physical activity, staying at home, unexpected changes in lifestyle and less social interaction have increased suicide cases in the world. Besides, the other risk factors and reasons for suicidal acts include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, feelings of entrapment, burdensomeness, loneliness, child abuse, unemployment, substance misuse, domestic violence, and financial insecurity. Particularly, the pandemic has affected children and young people, which has increased the suicide rate from 1% to 145% in recent months.

A person experiencing suicidal thoughts can have the following signs:

- Intolerable pain emotionally

- Frequent shifts in moods

- Engagement in risky behavior

- Feeling like a burden

- Expressing guilt and shame

- Talking about ending their life

- Depression and/or severe mental illness

Suicidal thoughts begin when a person finds it very hard to cope with overwhelming situations. 

If you know someone who is experiencing such thoughts, you can help them in the following ways:

- Try to be there for them and listen to what they have to say. 

- Research shows that asking them about suicide lowers the risk. Therefore, talk to them if they are thinking about committing suicide.

- Be with them as much as you can. 

- Remove all kinds of objects which can be handy to them in their suicidal attempt.

- Help them by encouraging them to speak to a therapist or call a helpline.

- Discuss with them after the period has passed, in order to avoid any reoccurrence.

Specifically, in order to prevent suicidal thoughts, one can take medications and therapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy.

Precisely, the actions taken by the Suicide Prevention Association initiate fostering connections with those who have lost their loved ones to suicide or who have been suicidal to further prevent these suicidal incidents. They make people understand the after-effects of suicidal actions by raising awareness about the emerging risk factors for their families and friends. The day strengthens the country’s capabilities to develop and evaluate plans and national policies to prevent suicidal actions. The other activities of the day include conference hosting, discussion forums, and seminars. Furthermore, new policies are formulated on this day for suicide prevention. The committee uses different social media tools for raising awareness, organizes memorial ceremonies for those who lost the battle to mental illness, educates adolescents on suicide, establishes support groups, appoints special faculty to take people out of depression, and provides the necessary treatments.

Keep in mind that suicide is preventable and mental health awareness should be a priority to help people so they can help the ones in need. Talk to an online counselling psychologist and seek help.

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