World Suicide Prevention Day: 10th September 2021

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Health Assured team

07 September 2021

One in every 100 deaths worldwide is the result of suicide. This worrying statistic is from the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). They make it their job to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around suicide. Their aim is to reduce suicide numbers on a global scale.  

To support this, World Suicide Prevention Day takes place every year on the 10th of September. The day promotes open, honest and genuine conversations about suicide. It’s been running across the world since 2003 and this year the theme is: ‘Creating Hope Through Action’.  

Creating hope through action  

This year’s theme serves to remind us all that there is always an alternative to suicide. Everyone has the potential to intervene and be a light of hope to someone who is struggling. We can help to reduce the number of suicides globally by reaching out to friends, family, strangers and colleagues. 

Taking action 

Suicidal thoughts are confusing and complex. What might help one person might not help another. People with existing medical conditions like anxiety or depression may be more vulnerable to suicide. Sometimes, it can be life events that trigger suicidal thoughts. There isn't always a clear cause. These thoughts make people feel alone and trapped. But there are ways you can take action this World Suicide Prevention Day. 

  • Look out for people who are struggling. When people are suffering, they tend not to speak up for fear of embarrassment or judgement. Look out for people in your life who don’t seem like their usual selves. Pay attention to mood shifts, changes in sleep and an increased drug or alcohol usage. If you intervene early, you're more likely to make an impact.
  • Check in with those close to you. Regularly reaching out to check in with the people in your life can be a great help. Your call might be the contact they need to prevent their feelings from worsening. 
  • An ear of empathy. Don’t be afraid of saying the wrong thing or making the situation worse. You don’t need to have all the answers. Research shows that compassion, empathy, connection and non-judgement are the best way to support. All you have to do is listen. 
  • Spread the word. Raising awareness around suicide is the first step to reshaping the narrative. This is something we can all play a part in. Share educational materials with people you know. Learn more about suicide and its effects, then spread the word to others.
  • Light a candle. The IASP is encouraging people to light a candle by a window on World Suicide Prevention Day this year. At 8 pm, light up a candle and pop it in the window as a symbol of support for suicide prevention. It's also seen as a token to remember lost loved ones and survivors of suicide. 
  • Know the support available. Whether you or someone you know is struggling, it’s good to know what support is available—should you ever need it. In the UK, you can find helplines via the NHS website. The Samaritans also provide 24/7 support on 116 123. 

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