World Suicide Prevention Day was officially launched on September 10th, 2003 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, with the endorsement of the World Health Organization (WHO). The day provides a worldwide opportunity to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention. “Creating Hope Through Action” is the theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2021-2023. The intention is to provide a renewed message of hope, empowerment, and healing.

Sobering Suicide Facts: (source WHO)

  • More than 700 000 people die due to suicide every year.
  • For every suicide, there are many more people who attempt suicide. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.
  • Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds.
  • 77% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Ingestion of pesticides, hanging, and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.
  • Suicide is illegal in at least 25 countries worldwide.

How You Can Help

There are ways to help – know the risk factors and warning signs. While these are not definitive suicide factors, it is important to remain aware of triggers that can lead to feelings of hopelessness or suicide.

  • Mental disorders and stigma associated with asking for help
  • Lack of access to mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Feelings of hopelessness, lack of support, or sense of isolation
  • Alcohol and addiction – or increase use thereof
  • Loss of relationships, job, or financial
  • Major illness, history of trauma or abuse
  • Previous suicide attempts, or family history of suicide
  • Extreme mood swings – talking about wanting to die

By starting the conversations and ending the stigma surrounding suicides, we can make a difference. Click here for International Helplines, Bereavement and Crisis Centers available through the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

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