World Suicide Prevention Day - 10 September, 2016
Welcome to the official website of World Suicide Prevention Day 2016!
Connect. Communicate. Care.
The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. Up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt. The tragic ripple effect means that there are many, many more people who have been bereaved by suicide or have been close to someone who has tried to take his or her own life. And this is happening in spite of the fact that suicide is preventable. 'Connect, communicate, care' is the theme of the 2016 World Suicide Prevention Day. These three words are at the heart of suicide prevention.
Fostering connections with those who have lost a loved one to suicide or have been suicidal themselves is crucial to furthering suicide prevention efforts. Although every individual suicide is different, there are some common lessons to be learned. Those who have been on the brink of suicide themselves can help us understand the complex interplay of events and circumstances that led them to that point, and what saved them or helped them to choose a more life-affirming course of action. Those who have lost someone to suicide, or supported someone who was suicidal, can provide insights into how they moved forwards on their journey. The sheer numbers of people who have been affected by suicide would make this a formidable network.
Of course, these connections should be two-way. There will often be times when those who have been bereaved by suicide, and those who might be feeling suicidal themselves, need support. Keeping an eye out for them and checking that they are okay could make all the difference. Social connectedness reduces the risk of suicide, so being there for someone who has become disconnected can be a life-saving act. Connecting them with formal and informal supports may also help to prevent suicide. Individuals, organisations and communities all have a responsibility here.
Open communication is vital if we are to combat suicide. In many communities, suicide is shrouded in silence or spoken of only in hushed tones. We need to discuss suicide as we would any other public health issue if we are to dispel myths about it and reduce the stigma surrounding it. This is not to say that we shouldn’t exercise necessary caution; we don’t want to normalise suicide either. Careful, considered messages about suicide and its prevention are warranted, as is an awareness of how different groups of individuals may receive and interpret this information.
Equipping people to communicate effectively with those who might be vulnerable to suicide is an important part of any suicide prevention strategy. Broaching the subject of suicide is difficult, and these sorts of conversations are often avoided. There are some simple tips that can help, however. Most of these relate to showing compassion and empathy, and listening in a non-judgemental way. People who have come through an episode of extreme suicidal thinking often say that sensitively-managed conversations with others helped them on their course to recovery.
The media also have an important role to play in suicide prevention. Some types of reporting on suicide (e.g., prominent and/or explicit stories) have been shown to be associated with 'spikes' in suicide rates, but others (e.g., those that describe mastery of suicidal crises) have been shown to have a protective effect. Media recommendations have been developed by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization to assist journalists in getting stories right. Please see: goo.gl/4qVhUp
All the connecting and communicating in the world will have no effect without the final ingredient – care. We need to make sure that policy-makers and planners care enough about suicide prevention to make it a priority, and to fund it at a level that is commensurate with its significance as a public health problem.
We need to make sure that clinicians and other service providers care enough about it to make suicide prevention their core business. And we need to make sure that communities care enough about it to be able to identify and support those who may be at heightened risk.
Most of all, we need to ensure that we are caring ourselves. We need to look out for others who may be struggling, and let them tell their story in their own way and at their own pace. Those who have been affected by suicide have much to teach us in this regard.
Connect, communicate and care 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, and start a caring conversation with them, asking them how they’re going. Investigate ways of connecting with others who are trying to prevent suicide in your community, your country, or internationally. Show your support by taking part in the International Association for Suicide Prevention's Cycle Around the Globe.
The first World Suicide Prevention Day was held in 2003 and was an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization (WHO). Since then, World Suicide Prevention Day has taken place on 10th September each year.
Please view the WHO Fact Sheet on suicide at: www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs398/en/
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 connecting, communicating, caring and suicide prevention and mental health from materials found in IASP's Web resource directory goo.gl/ok8R6m
- Using the WSPD Press Preparation Package that offers media guides in the planning of an event or activity. goo.gl/aUqQfq
- Downloading the World Suicide Prevention Day Toolkit that contains links to World Suicide Prevention Day resources and related Web pages goo.gl/dDqlrR
- 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/OJquho
- 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/1x8lVK
- 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 goo.gl/I6Jrmg
- 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: