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On the 10th September, the world recognises World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). Hosted by the World Health Organization (IASP), the campaign’s aim is to challenge the social stigma surrounding suicide, as well as raise awareness of the significant impact of suicide around the globe.
Continuing the theme from last year, the IASP are asking individuals across the globe to ‘Work Together to Prevent Suicide’. In doing so, we can all collectively address suicide and beak the taboo that surrounds the issue.
According to the IASP, globally suicide is responsible for over 800,000 deaths each year, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds. Clearly, there is more that we can all do to help prevent suicide around the world.
Understanding suicide: The first step towards tackling the issue of suicide is to educate ourselves on the issue and learn about its effects on the world. The more we understand the reasons why someone would take their own life, the more we can do to prevent it from happening again.
There are plenty of misconceptions regarding suicide, from the state of mind of the individual, to how affective prevention methods can be. This WSPD, take some time separating the myths from the facts by educating yourself suicide prevention.
Warning signs: Most people experiencing suicidal feelings will demonstrate some warning signs in their behaviour. The most effective method of suicide prevention is to recognise these warning signs and know the appropriate responses.
While every individual is different, there are some key suicide warning signs to look out for. These include the individual talking about death or suicide, saying that they are a burden, losing interest in their favourite activities, giving away possessions and saying goodbye to family and friends.
If you believe you know someone who is demonstrating suicidal feelings, you can play an essential role in prevention by demonstrating compassion, listening to them and safely guiding them to a professional.
Speak up: Telling someone that you’re worried that they are suicidal is an extremely difficult conversation to have. It’s natural to feel uncomfortable and even scared. You may feel as though you are causing harm by bringing the subject up. However, offering the opportunity for the individual to express his or her feelings can provide them with relief from the low feelings they are experiencing.
Cycling Around the Globe: After the success of 2019’s awareness day, IASP is joining forces with Charity Footprints again to host the Cycling Around the Globe challenge. The target of the event is for all participants to collectively cycle the globe (40,075 km / 24,900 miles) between 10 September – 10 October. If you want to get involved, click here for registration info.
Light a Candle: To show your support for suicide prevention or to remember a lost loved one and the survivors of suicide, IASP are asking you to light a candle at 8pm on the 10th September. Click here for more info and resources.
Social media: Regardless of how you participate in WSPD, make sure you raise awareness via social media and connect to IASP through Twitter or Facebook. Don’t forget the hashtags #WSPD20 and #SuicidePrevention.
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