World Suicide Prevention Day 2021 is nearly upon us. This has been an important year for awareness around suicide prevention as we have seen increasing visibility, events, action and understanding as September becomes a well known time of year on the global mental health agenda. We have all recently seen unprecedented change as we adapt to a world altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental Health has risen to global priority as the psychosocial implications of social distancing, quarantines and other restrictions become clear. The theme of ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ has been both well considered and timely in it’s pertinent call to urge people towards action; that we should all feel equipped, supported and inspired to act as we try to prevent more suicides around the world.
Our ambitious aim within this new three-year theme is to ‘create a social movement of preventative action’ and within this, we require the involvement of everyone. There are three particular groups that play a role of key importance;
- those with lived experience of suicide; who may have been bereaved or have experienced suicidal thoughts themselves,
- our civic leaders; people within their own societies who play a role, whether it be in schools, hospitals, governments or communities, who may be able to influence the way societies understand and support those at risk of suicide,
- and finally, us all.
In this way, by supporting global and national policy changes, raising awareness and reducing stigma and encouraging meaningful and safe conversations around suicide, IASP believes that, over the next three years, as we build on this theme, strengthen our network and spread our message, we can move towards a world where suicides are not so prevalent.
We encourage all our members, supporters and wider network to access the resources and information on the World Suicide Prevention Day website. We have further detail focused on actions within our main brief. Our Global Suicide Facts and Figures helps to inform with global statistics, and our Take Time to Reach Out resources aims to support and encourage help seeking and support. We also have banners and social media posts available for download and sharing, as well as a WSPD events hub to help you find events, both in person and online to engage with. In all of this, we aim to encourage action; for the IASP team, World Suicide Prevention Day is more than just one day, it’s about embedding this awareness, support and action into our everyday.