What is World Suicide Prevention day?
World Suicide Prevention Day is held each year on 10 September. It’s an annual awareness raising event organised by International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This year’s theme is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide” because IASP believes that collaboration is the most important aspect of effective global suicide prevention.
Why is it important?
More than 800,000 people take their lives each year across the world. In Japan, more than 20,000 people die by suicide a year – an average of 54 a day.
Reaching out to people who are going through a difficult time can be a game changer. People who are feeling low or suicidal often feel worthless and think that no-one cares. Small things like hearing from friends or family, feeling listened to or just being told that ‘it’s ok to talk’ can make a huge difference.
The purpose of this day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.
In past years, over 300 activities in around 70 countries were reported to IASP, including educational and commemorative events, press briefings and conferences, as well as Facebook and Twitter coverage.
Take a minute, change a life
People who have lived through a suicide attempt have much to teach us about how the words and actions of others are important. They often talk movingly about reaching the point where they could see no alternative but to take their own life, and about the days, hours and minutes leading up to this. They often describe realizing that they did not want to die but instead wanted someone to intervene and stop them. Many say that they actively sought someone who would sense their despair so that hopefully they would be asked whether they were okay.
Sometimes they say that they made a pact with themselves that if someone did ask if they were okay, they would tell them everything and allow them to intervene. Sadly, they often reflect that no one asked.
The individuals telling these stories are inspirational. Many of them recount reaching the point where they did try to take their own lives, and talk about overcoming it. Many of them are now working as advocates for suicide prevention. Almost universally, they say that if someone had taken a minute, the trajectory that they were on could have been interrupted.
Life is precious and sometimes precarious. Taking a minute to reach out to someone – a complete stranger or close family member or friend – can change the course of their life.
Join us in World Suicide Prevention Day
2018 marks the 16th World Suicide Prevention Day. The day was first recognised in 2003, as an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and endorsed by the World Health Organization. World Suicide Prevention Day takes place each year on September 10.
On September 9, join with others around the world who are working towards the common goal of preventing suicide. Show your support by taking part in our Tokyo Tower Climb event aimed at raising funds to take the TELL Lifeline 24 hours.
Finally, if there is anyone you are concerned about, take a minute to check in with them. It could change their life.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide call the TELL Lifeline at 03-5774-0992 between 9am – 11pm on the phone line and chat online here every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from 10:30pm – 2:00am.