World Anti-Suicide Day
World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 each year to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death.
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.
So, how can these suicides be prevented? Well, there are many problems being dealt with worldwide. One is restricting the access people have to potentially dangerous products: for example, charcoal burning has been such a huge problem in Asian cities, that charcoal sales in supermarkets have been reduced. In the UK, a programme to stop over-the-counter medication being obtained so easily has reduced overdose deaths by 34%.
It is speaking up to reduce the stigma around talking about suicide prevention safely. It is about standing up to make a positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing. It is about being self informed and aware of support and services available to all those touched by suicide and those building a resilient community to prevent suicide.