World Suicide Prevention Day 2020
World Suicide Prevention Day, this year is to be observed on 10th September 2020 to promote awareness and worldwide action to prevent deaths due to suicide across the world which is important among today’s generation.
World Suicide Prevention Day is celebrated every year on 10th September. World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 is observed to create awareness and to promote worldwide action to prevent suicide. On every World Suicide Prevention Day, events and activities occur to establish that suicide is not the solution to any problem in their lives.
International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) organizes World Suicide Prevention Day every year. It is co-sponsored by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). It is observed since 2003 to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides.
History of World Suicide Prevention Day
On 10 September 2003, World Suicide Prevention Day was first observed by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation.
In 2014, the first WHO World Suicide report was released "Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative," which aimed at suicide prevention and making it a high priority on the global public health agenda.
In 1960, The International Association of Suicide Prevention was established by the late Professor Erwin Ringel and Dr. Norman Faberlow in Vienna. Currently, it consists of professionals and volunteers from 77 countries, and it is a Non-Governmental Organisation that is concerned with suicide prevention.
Why is it Important to Observe World Suicide Prevention Day?
It's a developing problem, and the numbers will tell you a shocking story. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every 40 seconds, someone takes their own life, which is about 800,000 people worldwide every year- although some estimates put that number closer to 1 million.
Suicide seems to be the leading cause of death for people aged between 15 and 29. There are as many as 40 attempted suicides for every suicide that results in death. Each one of us needs to talk to people and convey that suicide is not the ultimate solution to any problem, and there's a lot to live for.
Theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020
A different theme is established every year for World Suicide Prevention Day, and every theme aims in highlighting a particular aspect of suicide and how it can be forbidden. For example, in 2003, the theme was ‘Suicide Can Be Prevented!’, in 2012, the theme was "Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope"; and in 2016, the theme was ‘Connect, Communicate, Care’.
World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 theme was ‘Working Together To Prevent Suicide’ to highlights the essential ingredient for effective global suicide prevention. The same theme is established for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 too.
Facts about Suicide
- 1 in 100,000 children aged between 10 and 14 dies by suicide every year
- Lesbian, gay, and bisexual children are 3 times more likely than straight children to attempt suicide at some point in their lives.
- Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed.
- 12.7 in 100,000 young adults aged between 20-24 die by suicide each year.
- Females are more likely than males to have had suicidal thoughts.
- Poisoning is the most common method of suicide in females.
- There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts.
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages.
80% -90% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully by therapy and/or medication.
In a study, 41% of transgender adults state they had attempted suicide. The same study found that 61% of transgender people who were victims of physical assault had attempted suicide.
How to Observe World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 amid COVID-19?
World Suicide Prevention Day can be observed while staying safe at home amid COVID-19 situations across the world. This pandemic has changed the world and all of our daily lives. World Suicide Prevention Day aims to spread awareness about the importance of life and suicide, not being the solution to any problem. So, by staying at home, you can talk about suicide prevention to people you know or even on your social media platform using #WorldSuicidePreventionDay.
You can also connect with people and stretch out your hand to someone who may need your help. It's widely known that some behaviours indicate the possibility of suicide. All of us can learn the warning signs of suicidal ‘ideation’ if we research it.
Talking about this issue is an essential first step in ridding society of the idea that mental health issues should remain hidden. On World Suicide Prevention Day, host or attend a panel discussion on how psychological problems intensify thoughts of suicide.
World Suicide Prevention Day provides many resources for people to learn more about the reasons for suicide and how to prevent them. There are countless books, films, and events to get you in the right direction. Knowledge is not only power- knowledge can save someone's life.
Steps for Suicide Prevention for Youth & Young Adults
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people. That’s more than all natural causes combined. A teen or young adult dies by suicide every hour and a half. And for every death, there are 15–25 times as many attempts.
What’s so sad is that this loss of life is preventable. Suicidal crises pass, and treatment is available that can reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviour. So how do you know if someone is at risk? What should you do if you think someone may be having suicidal thoughts? Here is some information and resources to help.
Who may be at risk?
In the past year, 15 percent of teens and young adults thought about suicide. Since that’s a lot of people, you may know one of them. They could be your friend or classmate; in your sports league, dance class, or theatre group; at your local community centre, church, or synagogue; or someone you know from Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or online multiplayer games. Anyone can help identify someone at risk. Often, a concerned friend or family member may be the first to know if something is wrong.
It can be hard to figure out if someone is at risk for suicide. However, learning the warning signs can be a first step. A group of national and international experts came up with these questions to ask yourself.
Look for the miniscule signs:
- Talking about wanting to die, be dead, or about suicide?
Sometimes this can be obvious, like saying “everyone would be better off if I were dead” or “I should just kill myself.” Other times, people may not say it directly. Instead, they may show it through their behaviour:
- Learning about ways to kill themself on the internet.
Getting things needed to kill themself—for example, buying medicine, finding a gun or knife, or looking for dangerous places (i.e., rooftops, train tracks, etc.) that are nearby and not restricted.
Giving away important belongings, like a prized guitar, phone, or computer.
Saying good-bye to family and friends or writing a suicide note.
- Cutting or burning themselves?
Self-injury is when people hurt themselves on purpose. For example, cutting, scratching, or burning themselves or bruising parts of their body. This doesn’t mean that they are trying to kill themselves. However, it does mean that they don’t know a better way to deal with upsetting emotions or life situations. This increases their risk for suicide.
Prior suicide attempts also increase their risk.
- Feeling like things may never get better?
Sometimes people say it directly, like “nothing will ever go right for me” or “things never get better.” Other times, people show it through their behavior:
Not caring about the future. Examples: Not caring about prom, starting school or college, or getting a driver’s license or job.
Not caring about things they used to care deeply about. Examples: If an athlete didn’t care about an important game or an honours student didn’t care about failing a test.
- Seeming like they are in terrible emotional pain? Or like something is wrong deep inside but they can’t make it go away?
Suicide often comes with other problems. Some people thinking of suicide may experience:
- Depression or extreme sadness.
- Trouble paying attention.
- Numbness or feeling like nothing matters.
- Strong mood swings (happy-to-sad or happy-to-angry).
- Feeling really annoyed or irritable.
- Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, panicky, or worried.
- Self-injury, such as cutting, scratching, or burning themselves on purpose.
- Disordered eating, such as eating too much or too little, making themselves throw up, or exercising too much.
- Impulsive or reckless behaviour, like doing things without thinking or not caring if they might get hurt.
- Drinking, smoking, or using drugs too often.
Everyone gets upset when they experience a big loss or disappointment. This could be a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, parents getting divorced, arguing a lot with their family or friends, being cut from a sports team, failing a class, or getting in trouble. Getting upset for a little while is normal. However, someone may be at risk if they are:
- Upset for much longer than most people would be.
- Much more upset than most people would be.
- So upset that they cannot do things they need to do, like go to school or work.
- So upset that nothing makes them feel better.
- Or is your gut telling you to be worried about them because something has changed?
- Do they seem more worried or on edge?
- Do they seem unusually angry?
- Do they seem overly fidgety, restless, or uncomfortable?
- Are they sleeping or eating a lot more or less than usual?
What can you do if you think someone is at risk for suicide?
Experts recommend these ways to approach and assist someone at risk:
Ask them if they are okay or if they are thinking of hurting or killing themself. Don’t be afraid to ask directly: “Are you having thoughts of hurting or killing yourself?” Asking about suicide will not “put the idea in their head.” In fact, a lot of people thinking about suicide feel relieved when they can talk about their feelings.
Listen to them like a true friend. Someone thinking about suicide needs your support. So don’t say they’re being silly, dramatic, or overreacting. Don’t interrupt or try to say things are not as bad as they think; just let them talk about their thoughts and feelings, and be a good listener.
Tell them you are worried and concerned about them. “It seems like you’re really sad lately and that worries me.” Or, “What you said about wanting to hurt yourself really concerns me.”
Let them know they have been heard. Don’t be afraid to repeat back to them what you have heard to make sure you understand. “It sounds like you have been really sad and angry over arguments at home and with your girlfriend.” Don’t judge what they say; just let them know that you have been listening and understand why they are upset.
Tell them they are not alone. Having mental health concerns can be very lonely. People may feel like they are different from everyone else or that no one can understand. Let them know that they aren’t the only one. Other people have felt this way before- overwhelmed, depressed, scared, angry. Even more importantly, let them know that you and others care, and you’re there to support them.
Talk to an adult you trust about your concerns and direct the adult to this page. Don’t ever keep suicidal thoughts or plans a secret! Don’t worry that talking to an adult will betray their trust or “tattle” on them. Even if they get mad for a little while, at least they will be alive. Most of the time, suicidal adolescents and young adults are relieved when someone finally knows. Remember, being a good friend can save their life. And a trusted adult, like a parent, sibling, teacher, coach, or pastor, will help you know what to do.
Feeling suicidal usually means that someone is hopeless. They may feel like no one can help. They may be out of better options for escaping feelings or situations that are unbearable and painful. But they can feel better again someday, and a trusted adult will get them the help they need.
“When you feel like giving up, just remember the reason why you held on for so long.”