World Suicide Prevention Day
World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10th every year and is designed as a worldwide commitment to preventing suicides. It aims to bring the problem of suicide to the public’s attention and to help society do what it can to prevent suicides now and in the future.
On this day, events and activities are held at both local and global levels around the world to raise awareness that suicide is a preventable problem, although there are many different reasons why people commit suicide and a lot of complex issues surrounding and contributing to it.
History of World Suicide Prevention Day
World Suicide Prevention Day was started in 2003 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). Shortly after its launch, the World Health Organization began to co-sponsor the events.
This day was established to bring attention to the problem of suicide, which claims the lives of 3,000 people a day or about a million people every year, and to bring people and organizations together to help solve the problem.
Other objectives of World Suicide Prevention Day include increasing public awareness of suicide and decreasing the stigmatization surrounding it.
World Suicide Prevention Day Customs & Traditions
Every year, a different theme is established for World Suicide Prevention Day, and this theme helps to highlight a particular aspect of suicide and how it can be prevented. For instance, 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”. In 2016, the theme was “Connect, Communicate, Care.” All over the globe, individuals, agencies, and governments do various things to spotlight suicide and bring people together to help find solutions.
Some of the activities include holding press conferences, creating videos about suicide prevention, organizing educational seminars and conferences, securing radio and television commercials highlighting the problem, holding memorial services and candlelight vigils, organizing BBQs or luncheons, launching books or other print media, using the hashtag #worldsuicidepreventionday, and posting to social media.
All these efforts can help shine a light on the problem of suicide and bring people together so they can develop new strategies to combat it.