World Suicide Prevention Day - 10 September, 2015
Welcome to the official website of World Suicide Prevention Day 2015!
Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives
Reaching out to those at risk of suicide
According to the recently released World Health Organization (WHO) report: Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative, over 800,000 people die by suicide across the world each year. The report notes that this estimate is conservative, with the real figure likely to be higher because of the stigma associated with suicide, lack of reliable death recording procedures, and religious or legal sanctions against suicide in some countries.
We may not be able to pinpoint the exact figure, but we do know that each individual suicide is a tragic loss of life. It is hard to imagine the extreme psychological pain that leads someone to decide that suicide is the only course of action. Reaching out to someone who is struggling can make a difference.
‘Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives’ is the theme of the 2015 World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the WHO. Since 2003, WSPD has taken place on 10th September each year. It serves as a call to action to individuals and organizations to prevent suicide. This year, the theme encourages us all to consider the role that offering support may play in combating suicide.
The act of showing care and concern to someone who may be vulnerable to suicide can be a game-changer. Asking them whether they are OK, listening to what they have to say in a nonjudgemental way, and letting them know you care, can all have a significant impact. Isolation increases the risk of suicide, and, conversely, having strong social connections is protective against it, so being there for someone who has become disconnected can be life-saving.
Reaching out to those who have been bereaved by suicide
Suicide is devastating for families, friends and community members who are left behind. They may experience a whole range of emotions, including grief, anger, guilt, disbelief and self-blame.They may not feel that they can share these overwhelming feelings with anyone else. Therefore, reaching out to those who have lost someone to suicide is very important.
As a result of the stigma surrounding suicide, those who are bereaved by suicide are often perceived differently from those who lose a family member through another cause of death. People who are bereaved may find that they are avoided by people who don’t know how to broach the subject or offer their condolences. Or they may just feel that others do not understand the intensity of their emotional response to the death of their loved one.
Once again, a pro-active approach and offering a sympathetic, non-judgemental ear can make all the difference. Giving someone who has been bereaved by suicide the opportunity to talk about their loss, in their own time, on their own terms, can be a precious gift. Allowing them to express their full range of feelings can be cathartic, and can help them to take the first small step in moving through their grief. Starting the conversation may be difficult, but it will almost certainly be appreciated.
Reaching out to put people in touch with relevant services
Although the support of friends and relatives is crucial for people who may be at risk of suicide and for people who have lost someone to suicide, it is not always enough. Often more formal help is also needed. Such help can take many forms, and is likely to vary from country to country. In high-income countries, it may include specialist mental health services and primary care providers, both of which offer clinical care. It may also include a range of community organisations which provide non-clinical support, as well as support groups and self-help groups. In low- and middle-income countries, the more clinically-focused services are less readily available, and there is a heavier reliance on community organizations. Part of reaching out to vulnerable individuals can involve helping to link them to relevant services.
Reaching out to the suicide prevention community
There is strength in numbers. Around the globe, many individuals and organizations are involved in efforts to prevent suicide. We can learn from each other, and strengthen the evidence base for effective interventions. Reaching out to those who are travelling the same road increases the likelihood that our collective efforts to reduce the numbers of people who die by suicide, and the numbers of people for whom these deaths have shattering effects, will be successful.
Reaching out on World Suicide Prevention Day
On September 10th, join with others around the world who are working towards the common goal of preventing suicide. Check in on someone you may be concerned about, listen to what they say, how they say it and show them kindness and support. Investigate ways of linking in with others who are trying to prevent suicide in your community, your country, or internationally. Show your support by organising or taking part in a WSPD activity in your area and/or join in with IASP’s Cycle Around the Globe.
Please, reach out and save lives.
Participate in Cycle Around the Globe, a worldwide initiative to raise awareness about mental health issues and suicidal behaviour and ideation, and reaching out to save lives.
Visit the Official World Suicide Prevention Day Facebook Event Page and join people from all over the world who are supporting World Suicide Prevention Day, survivors of suicide and the many volunteers and practitioners worldwide who work to alleviate suffering through evidence-based research and practices.
Find World Suicide Prevention Day banners in various languages.
Use the WSPD Activities Online Submission Form to let us know about your World Suicide Prevention Day activities.
Read about World Suicide Prevention Day activities throughout the world.
Visit the World Suicide Prevention Day - Light a Candle Near a Window at 8pm on World Suicide Prevention Day page to download e-cards or postcards in now over 50 languages.
Become a Facebook Fan of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) www.facebook.com/IASPinfo
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY
WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY, September 10th, is an opportunity for all sectors of the community - the public, charitable organizations, communities, researchers, clinicians, practitioners, politicians and policy makers, volunteers, those bereaved by suicide, other interested groups and individuals - to join with the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) to focus public attention on the unacceptable burden and costs of suicidal behaviours with diverse activities to promote understanding about suicide and highlight effective prevention activities.
Those activities may call attention to the global burden of suicidal behaviour, and discuss local, regional and national strategies for suicide prevention, highlighting cultural initiatives and emphasizing how specific prevention initiatives are shaped to address local cultural conditions.
Initiatives which actively educate and involve people are likely to be most effective in helping people learn new information about suicide and suicide prevention. Examples of activities which can support World Suicide Prevention Day include:
- Launching new initiatives, policies and strategies on World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th.
- Learning about Reaching out and Saving Lives, suicide prevention and mental health from materials found in IASP’s Web resource directory goo.gl/SVbJYy
- Using the WSPD Press Preparation Package that offers media guides in the planning of an event or activity. goo.gl/UfqZmt
- Holding conferences, open days, educational seminars or public lectures and panels
- Writing articles for national, regional and community newspapers, blogs and magazines
- Holding press conferences
- Placing information on your website and using the IASP World Suicide Prevention Day Web banner, promoting suicide prevention in one’s native tongue. goo.gl/QoTZST
- Securing interviews and speaking spots on radio and television
- Organizing memorial services, events, candlelight ceremonies or walks to remember those who have died by suicide
- Asking national politicians with responsibility for health, public health, mental health or suicide prevention to make relevant announcements, release policies or make supportive statements or press releases on WSPD
- Holding depression awareness events in public places and offering screening for depression
- Organizing cultural or spiritual events, fairs or exhibitions
- Organizing walks to political or public places to highlight suicide prevention
- Holding book launches, or launches for new booklets, guides or pamphlets
- Distributing leaflets, posters and other written information
- Organizing concerts, BBQs, breakfasts, luncheons, contests, fairs in public places
- Writing editorials for scientific, medical, education, nursing, law and other relevant journals
- Disseminating research findings
- Producing press releases for new research papers
- Holding training courses in suicide and depression awareness
- Joining us on the official World Suicide Prevention Day Facebook Event Page goo.gl/cq88X9"
- Supporting suicide prevention 365 days a year by becoming a Facebook Fan of the IASP goo.gl/S7zalS
- Following the IASP on Twitter (www.twitter.com/IASPinfo), tweeting #WSPD or #suicide or #suicideprevention
- Creating a video about suicide prevention
- Lighting a candle a candle, near a window at 8 PM in support of: World Suicide Prevention Day, suicide prevention and awareness, survivors of suicide and for the memory of loved lost ones. Find “Light a Candle Near a Window at 8 PM” postcards in various languages at: goo.gl/9Ic1en
- Participating in the World Suicide Prevention Day - Cycle Around the Globe goo.gl/csdyvG
Browse links below to find information on other World Suicide Prevention Days: