The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrate World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) annually on September 10.
A global commitment to suicide prevention is represented by this event.
It is imperative to address this urgent public health issue collectively as the theme of WSPD 2022 is "Creating hope through action."
We can all take action to prevent suicide in the region as individuals, families, friends, colleagues, community members, educators, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, and governments.
The objective of this day is to raise awareness about suicide prevention worldwide and to promote stakeholder collaboration and self-empowerment to address self-harm and suicide through preventative action.
The general population and at-risk groups like young people can benefit from positive and informative messaging that aims to build their capacity and facilitate open discussions about mental health at home, school, and work.
Individuals, families, communities, and societies are affected by suicides and suicide attempts.
COVID-19 has increased risk factors for suicide, such as job loss, financial difficulties, abuse, mental health disorders, and barriers to health care.
The mental health of more than half of the people in Chile, Brazil, Peru, and Canada worsened one year after the pandemic began.
According to the WHO, around 700,000 people die from suicide every year, with over 75% of suicides occurring in low-and-middle-income countries. Over one in every 100 deaths (1.3%) in 2019 was the result of suicide. The global suicide rate is over twice as high among men as women. Over half (58%) of all deaths by suicide occur before the age of 50 years old. Suicide occurs across all regions in the world, however, over three quarters (77%) of global suicides in 2019 occurred in low and middle-income countries.
An individual suffering from depression is twenty times more likely to die by suicide than someone without the disorder.
Suicide remains illegal in over 20 countries, while people who engage in suicidal behaviour may be punished in some countries that follow Sharia law, involving legal penalties that range from a small fine or short prison sentence to life imprisonment.
Undiagnosed and untreated mental illness is the biggest reason for suicide in underdeveloped and developing countries.
It is essential to restrict access to means of suicide (e.g. firearms, pesticides), promote mental health and alcohol reduction policies, and inform the public about suicide in a responsible manner.
A lack of mental health literacy and anti-stigma campaigns remain major barriers to suicide help-seeking.
World Suicide Prevention Day was initiated in 2003 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and is co-sponsored by the World Federation for Mental Health and the WHO.
It aims to collect and analyze data on suicidal behavior, identify the underlying causes, and formulate effective practices and policies to prevent suicide.
As part of IASP's mission to raise awareness, the group offered information on identifying warning signs of suicide and how to reach out to those at risk.
The initiative has had such a positive impact that WHO partnered with it in its second year.
Events and activities on World Suicide Prevention Day include:
- Formulating new policies for suicide prevention through conferences, seminars, and discussion forums;
- Increasing awareness through the media;
- Organizing memorial ceremonies for those who lost the fight against mental illness;
- Provide adolescents with information about suicide and contact information if they require assistance.
- Depression and suicide awareness and treatment can be provided through support groups and special facilities.
World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to raise suicide awareness around the world, highlight global, national, and regional efforts, but also to emphasize the individual's role. We can all help to prevent suicides.
Suicide is a global concern and a serious public health issue in every country, but it is preventable. We can reduce suicides around the world by raising awareness, removing the stigma associated with suicide, and encouraging well-informed action.
In short, with the theme of "Creating Hope Through Action," each person has a responsibility to inspire confidence to act by reaching out to someone who may be struggling, encouraging understanding within ourselves and our communities, and sharing our experiences in order to spread a message of hope.
We must all work together to raise suicide awareness and promote preventative measures in order to reduce the number of suicides and attempted suicides worldwide.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.