World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day - Tuesday, September 10, 2024


We observe World Suicide Prevention Day each year on September 10. It’s a growing problem and the numbers tell a shocking story. Every 40 seconds someone takes their own life according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 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 ages 15 to 29 and for every suicide that results in death, there are as many as 40 attempted suicides. What we know for sure is that there’s a lot to live for.  Check out more information at National Suicide Prevention Month.

There’s been a rising epidemic in the US, and that epidemic is suicide. If we don’t know someone who had committed suicide, it’s almost certain that we know someone who has attempted it. Suicide is a problem that affects all age groups, genders, and social strata, and it seems sometimes to be utterly inescapable. World Suicide Prevention Day raises awareness about this tragic issue and works to prevent it through education and support of those who struggle with suicidal ideation every day.

History of World Suicide Prevention Day

It’s a tragic situation, with the death toll coming in at 42,773 people committing suicide each year in the United States alone, and for each one of those 25 people made the attempt. Over the world it’s even greater, an estimated 800,000 people commit suicide each year throughout the world, which is one every 40 seconds. What’s incredible is that just like the US statistic, it’s estimated that 25 times that attempt it, 4 million people over the world every year. There’s something of a ripple down effect that happens as well, those bereaved by the loss of a loved one to suicide are themselves more likely to commit suicide.

Thankfully there are organizations like the World Health Organization who fight to combat this epidemic. With the philosophy of ‘Connect, Communicate, Care’ they work to create a world in which suicide rates are reduced or even eliminated.

How to celebrate World Suicide Prevention Day

Celebrating World Suicide Prevention Day involves working to help fight suicide. One of the most effective techniques for this is following the ideals listed above. Connect with those who you discover may be in some form of emotional distress or considering suicide. Let them know they aren’t alone, and feel free to share bits of yourself in return, true connection requires a sharing, and those who are considering suicide are often adept at detecting false ones.

You also have to open the venues of Communication, to be able to truly let others feel like you’re a safe place they can come to and be taken seriously without judgement. Too often are those suffering from real debilitating depression and suicidal ideation met with comments like “You’re just making it up” or “You’re being melodramatic”, when in fact their struggles are very real. World Suicide Prevention Day encourages you to truly care about those around you, and to work to help end the epidemic before it claims someone you love.

World Suicide Prevention Day timeline


"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.

​5 Sobering Suicide Facts

  1. It's part of a mental health emergency

    1 in 15 American adults suffer from depression but the good news is that 80-90% of people respond positively to treatment if depression is correctly diagnosed.

  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 make an attempt.

  4. Early detection is key

    That's why, as WHO points out, "prevention efforts must be comprehensive and integrated as no single approach alone can make an impact."

  5. The clock is ticking

    Just about every 12 minutes someone kills themselves in America.

How to Observe World Suicide Prevention Day

  1. Connect

    Stretch out your hand to someone who may need help. It's widely known that certain behaviors indicate the possibility of suicide. We can all learn the warning signs of suicidal "ideation." If we spot them early enough, we can take action.

  2. Discuss

    Talking about this issue is an important first step in ridding society of the idea that mental health issues should remain hidden. On World Suicide Prevention Day, host or simply attend a panel discussion on how mental problems intensify thoughts of suicide.

  3. Search for resources

    World Suicide Prevention Day provides lots of resources for people to learn more about the reasons for suicide and how to prevent them. At your local library, there are countless books, films, and events to get you pointed in the right direction. Knowledge is not only power — knowledge can save someone's life.

Why World Suicide Prevention Day is Important

  1. Suicide affects all of us

    Many people know somebody who has taken their own life. Still others know someone who has lost a friend or family member. World Suicide Prevention Day gives us time to reflect on the value of life and that no matter how bad things seem, there's always hope.

  2. With awareness comes action

    One of the main goals of World Suicide Prevention Day is "to increase awareness about suicidal behaviors and how to effectively prevent them," according to WHO. Contact your local suicide prevention hotline if you have a friend who's confided about having suicidal thoughts or you see a social media post about someone's intentions. Take action.

  3. 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. If you live in the United States, learn the signs a person shows when thinking about committing suicide by finding out more on the National Suicide Prevention Month website.

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