World Suicide Prevention Day was first observed in 2003 and it now takes place on 10 September each year.
This year, 2016 marks the 14th anniversary of the awareness day and this year the theme is “Connect. Communicate. Care”.
The World Health Organisation estimates that about one million people around the world die by suicide every year. There are people all over the world who feel so low that suicide seems like the only way out. But there is always another way – and we can tackle it together!
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%.
From this idea of restriction access, a number of very effective prevention programmes and guidelines have been put in place in various places throughout the world.
So now the question is – what can you do? There are endless ways you can make a difference. This day is all about breaking down the barriers between nations and working together – so there are no barriers to how you help either!
You could organise exhibitions, fairs, memorials walks or ceremonies, to remember those who have lost their lives so tragically. Other options include writing articles, speaking on radio interviews or even just distributing some leaflets!
On 10 September the International Association for Suicide Prevention is asking you to light a candle at 8.00pm and place it in a window to show your support for World Suicide Prevention Day and suicide prevention across the world.