COVID-19 has resulted in 2020 being an unprecedented year for the world. The reach of both World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) and World Mental Health Day (WMHD) in 2020 has reflected the increasing need for greater consideration to be given to our mental health. Innovative campaigns and events online saw many activities being adapted and continuing despite the current circumstances related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’ was the World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) theme for the final year in 2020. IASP produced the WSPD Awareness Film ‘Step Closer’ with the aim of highlighting the most essential component for effective global suicide prevention efforts; collaboration and that we can all play a role in preventing suicide. The film received over 33 million views online through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and was shared on other platforms and websites in many countries. Translations were also made into Korean, Italian and Spanish.
Over half a million people joined the global conversation around World Suicide Prevention Day awareness on Twitter and #WorldSuicidePreventionDay reached the #2 trend in the US proving that awareness is higher than ever. World Suicide Prevention Day activities also took place all over the world with over 45 events in 22 countries reported to IASP from outside walls to online vigils, webinars and support groups. IASP’s Cycle Around the Globe achieved huge successes this year with a total of 201,706 miles being cycled in over 40 countries worldwide, the equivalent to 8 times around the globe – a huge collective effort for suicide prevention awareness. The Light a Candle campaign provided the opportunity for many to mark the day in quiet reflection and we saw large numbers posting their messages of hope and support online. More information on World Suicide Prevention can be found in the World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 Impact Report.
World Mental Health Day 2020 surrounded the slogan ‘Move for Mental Health’ urging movement towards ‘Mental Health for All: Greater Investment, Greater Access’. The combined reach of WMHD campaign activities online was over 235 million. IASP continued to promote the messages within the step closer film alongside the wider calls to action over the day. IASP also partnered with United for Global Mental Health in the first virtual ‘March for Mental Health’ that highlighted a global campaign with engagement from many countries highlighting different mental health considerations. The decriminalisation of suicide prevention was particularly highlighted within this platform. More information on WMHD can also be found in the 2020 Impact Report.