We observe World Suicide Prevention Day each year on September 10. Why? Well, the statistics are shocking. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that someone takes their own life every 40 seconds. That’s about 800,000 people worldwide every year — although some estimates put that number closer to 1 million. Suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 29. And for every suicide that results in death, there are as many as 40 attempted suicides. For more information, check out National Suicide Prevention Month.
World Suicide Prevention Day - History
"Public health priority"
The first WHO World Suicide Report, “Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative,” aimed to make suicide prevention a high priority on the global public health agenda.
September 10, 2003
First World Suicide Prevention Day was held
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Association for Suicide Prevention organized the first World Suicide Prevention Day.
IASP is founded
The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) started in Vienna.
How to Observe World Suicide Prevention Day
1. Reach out to someone who needs help
We can all learn the warning signs of suicidal "ideation." If we spot them early enough, we can take action.
2. Help get rid of the stigma associated with mental health
Talking about this issue is an important first step in ridding society of the idea that mental health issues should remain hidden.
3. Learn as much as you can
There are many resources we can utilize in order to learn more about suicide and the mental state of those who may be considering it. As always, knowledge is power.
5 Sobering Facts About Suicide
1. Ultimately, it's about mental health
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about one in 15 American adults suffers from depression.
2. Older people are more likely to die from suicide
Suicide is most common among people between the ages of 45 and 64.
3. Men complete suicides more often
Still, women are more likely to attempt.
4. Suicide is a very complex issue
That's why, as WHO points out, "prevention efforts must be comprehensive and integrated as no single approach alone can make an impact."
5. Certain groups more susceptible
The highest suicide rates in the U.S. are among whites and Native Americans.
Why World Suicide Prevention Day is Important
A. Suicide affects all of us
Many people know somebody who has taken their own life — or at least know somebody who lost a friend or family member to suicide.
B. With awareness comes action
One of the main goals of World Suicide Prevention Day, according to the World Health Organization, is "to increase awareness about suicidal behaviors and how to effectively prevent them."
C. It shines a spotlight on mental health issues
World Suicide Prevention Day is a reminder that society needs consistent and increasing advocacy for mental health resources, so that people struggling with mental health disorders can find the help they need.