(Images above from Kutch Suicide Prevention Forum, Teléfono de la Esperanza and Vilnius Sveikiau)
For the eighth year running, participants from around the world came together to collectively cycle the circumference of the globe with the aim of raising awareness of suicide prevention.
Between World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) and World Mental Health Day (10 October), over 2,000 people worldwide cycled an incredible 180,000km to break the stigma surrounding suicide – That’s equivalent to 4.5 times around the globe!
The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) announced ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ as the newest World Suicide Prevention Day theme this year and participants of this year’s campaign have embraced this by encouraging conversations on suicide prevention. ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ is a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and aims to inspire confidence and light in all of us; that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling.
Despite global pandemic restrictions, over 110 teams took on the challenge this year, including the CCC Foundation, Vilnius Sveikiau, Samaritans Mumbai, GoPro Employees for a Cause, CAF Montréal-St-Jean and LIKAS – TUPV. The team from Teléfono de la Esperanza came in at the top of the leaderboard having cycled an amazing 66,112.8km, followed closely by Team Verizon. Verizon returned to support the campaign this year by engaging over 500 of their employees from across the world to participate as part of their suicide awareness month activities.
As part of their World Suicide Prevention Day activities, Kutch Suicide Prevention Forum joined together with the Om Foundation and White Eagle Cycle Group. Each day, 50 cyclists travelled to different villages across India, putting up suicide prevention posters in public places including temples, detailing suicide intervention, and including a mental health helpline.
Each year, IASP invites the global community to come together to cycle for suicide prevention for free, to ensure anyone worldwide can get involved. This year over $18,000 was raised by participants towards global suicide prevention efforts. If you would like to donate to the campaign, please click here.
IASP is grateful to everyone who has taken part in Cycle Around the Globe 2021 for their support and for helping to prevent suicide. Changing the narrative around suicide through encouraging hope can create a more compassionate society where those in need feel more comfortable in coming forward to seek help. If you would like to discuss engagement opportunities ahead of Cycle Around the Globe 2022, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.