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.