World Suicide Prevention Day

in Mental health
Published Sep 10, 2020

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, organized by the International Association of Suicide Prevention. The day is also co-sponsored by The World Health Organization. Its purpose is to raise awareness around the world that suicide can be prevented.

In the past few years 70 countries have participated in Suicide Prevention Day, with over 300 activities taking place worldwide. Its goal is to encourage us to engage within each other and join together to spread awareness about suicide prevention.

Suicide Facts

IASP state that suicide is the among the top 20 leading causes of death globally, and is responsible for nearly 800,000 deaths. That’s one suicide death every 40 seconds and up to 25 times as many people make a suicide attempt. In America, it’s much worse. Here are some startling statistics:

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America
  • 123 Americans die each day from suicide
  • Only half of all Americans experiencing major depression receive treatment
  • An estimated 250,000 survive suicide each year



According to the WHO, suicide is the result of a convergence number of risk factors, including genetic, psychological, social, and cultural risk factors. Sometimes those risk factors are combined with experiences of trauma and/or loss. Suicidal behavior includes suicidal ideation as well as suicide attempts.

The most common mental illness among people who die by suicide is depression, and 50 percent of individuals in high income countries have major depression at the time of death.

Every life lost is someone’s partner, parent, friend, or colleague. IASP report that 135 people suffer with grief for every suicide. That is 108 million people bereaved by suicide each year. In addition, those who lose loved ones are also at risk of suicide due to the psychological trauma, stigma and burden of loss.

How to Help Prevent Suicide

Suicide prevention strategies aim to prevent suicide among target high risk groups by reducing the access to lethal means, treating depression, ensuring care, and providing universal school-based prevention. Although, resources are limited and lack co-ordination which is why it’s important to take part in preventing suicide.

A number of key actions you can take to help prevent suicide include:

  • Know the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Be able to identify risks of suicide: hopelessness, talk about wanting to die, increased drug and alcohol use, feeling trapped, unbearable pain, self-harm, withdrawal, feeling a burden, extreme mood swings, fixation with death
  • Reach out to someone who may have become disconnected or isolated, by simply asking Are you okay?
  • Checking in on loved ones can make the world of difference, as people who take their lives often feel like they have no one to turn to.



It may be helpful to know that not everyone has the answers and are not mental health experts. But that doesn’t mean you can’t listen, provide non-judgmental support, and show someone you care. These simple actions could save a life!

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