World Suicide Prevention Day
World Suicide Prevention Day. Image by Pixabay

The 10th of September is officially World Suicide Prevention Day to bring awareness to the cause. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), someone loses their lives to suicide every 40 seconds. The organization plans to have events and activities all over the world to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world. They also plan to show the public what role they can play to help prevent it.

World Suicide Day has been observed for more than 15 years all over the world. On Twitter, the hashtag #WorldSuicidePreventionDay is trending with many spreading facts about suicide. According to WHO, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds. However, it does affect people of all ages, in all countries. The WHO website listed ways one can participate in spreading awareness on their website that the public can easily access.

Facts:

  • About 800,000 people die from suicide every year.
  • For each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts and according to WHO, a prior suicide attempt is an important risk factor for suicide.
  • Suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that affects families, friends, colleagues, communities, and societies.
  • Suicides are preventable and the community can help prevent it.
  • 79% of global suicides occur in low and middle-income countries.
  • Hanging, Ingestion of pesticides and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide worldwide.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), the co-sponsors of the day, initiated an activity called Cycling Around the Globe. This initiative is to further raise awareness of the risks of suicide and raise funds to help with prevention activities. The activity is in the form of a challenge. People are challenged to cycle any distance that will contribute to the 40,075-km/24,900-mile distance that is the globe.

Last year, people collectively cycled 15.8 times around the world. The challenge is free to enter, however, funds are welcome. To join and for more information, one can visit the IASP website.

Social Media

The trending hashtag on Twitter is opening conversations about suicide. Twitter user Ulrich Janse van Vuuren said: “Always be kind and share kindness. Check-in on people around you, those you care about and check in on yourself. A lot of people are going through a lot.”

Another Twitter User, Joel Franco said: “It’s #WorldSuicidePreventionDay. Help is a text or phone call away. Friends, check up on your loved ones from time to time. You never know who is struggling. Suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255 Crisis text line: HOME to 741741 (Canada: 686868; UK: 85258)”

Twitter user, Dr Arif Alvi mentions that depression needs to be addressed more in Pakistan saying: “Depression is a major mental disorder affecting a large pop-in Pakistan. It mostly goes unrecognized or ignored by the near & dear. Can lead to drug abuse & suicide. Today is #worldsuicidepreventionday. Be aware of signs & help See this video by @drhensays