World Suicide Prevention Day 2018

10th September 2018

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Health Assured team

29 August 2018

More than 800,000 people take their lives each year across the world, and in the UK and ROI, more than 6,000 people die by suicide a year. Which is an average of 18 deaths per day.


On the 10th September 2018, countries from around the globe will be taking part in the annual awareness event, World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD).


The campaign is organised by International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), and its aim is to raise awareness around the world that suicide can be prevented, and to reach out to people who are struggling to cope.


The annual awareness campaign began in 2003, with various events being held each year. Previous years have included; conferences, educational seminars, lectures, media promotions, memorial services and organised spiritual events, all with the aim of:

  • Raising awareness that suicide is preventable
  • Improving education about suicide
  • Spreading information about suicide awareness
  • Decreasing the stigma surrounding suicide


Did you know?

  • In the UK, there were 3.6% fewer suicides in 2016 than in 2015 - a decrease by 223 deaths.
  • Suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK
  • In 2015, 75% of all UK suicides were male.
  • The age group with the highest suicide rate for females in the UK is 50-54.


How can I help?

You might feel that you don’t know how to help someone, because you don’t know what to tell them or how to solve their problems. But you don’t need to be an expert to support someone in need. In fact, sometimes people who think they have the answers to a problem, are less helpful. Don’t forget that every person is different, so you cannot utilise a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Below are several tips on how you approach someone you think may be experiencing suicidal thoughts:


Find an appropriate time and place

Think about where and when to have the conversation before you start. Choose a location where the individual feels comfortable and has time to talk.


Ask gentle questions, and listen with care

You might feel that you don’t know how to help someone, because you don’t know what to tell them. But you shouldn’t tell them anything. The best way to help someone is to ask questions, and ensure they feel like they’ve been listened too. By asking questions, the person you are talking too will find his or her own answers without being assisted.


Offer help and support

If a friend or family member is suicidal, the best way to help is by offering an empathetic, listening ear. Let your loved one know that he or she is not alone and that you care. You can offer help and support, but you can't solve a suicidal persons underlying issues. He or she has to make a personal commitment to recovery.


Look after yourself

Hearing someone else’s worries or problems can affect you negatively too. Take time for yourself to do the things you enjoy, and if you need to talk, find somebody you trust to confide in. Be careful not to take on so much of other peoples’ problems that you begin to start feeling down.


How can I get involved?

There are many ways for you to get involved in spreading awareness of WSPD. They include:

  • Donating online to Samaritans here
  • Look at volunteer opportunities here
  • Support for those bereaved by suicide


If you have any concerns regarding your mental or physical wellbeing, or are worried about someone close to you, call our helpline on:

0844 892 2493

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