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Marking World Suicide Prevention Day 2023

With the approach of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday, 10th September, attention again turns toward the prevalence of suicide in our society and how suicide might be avoided and someone’s life saved by taking less than 2 minutes to create hope through action.

Suicide is preventable

With timely intervention, suicide IS preventable, and My Mind News calls on you to take less than 2 minutes to understand how you can help those individuals struggling and ‘be the light.’ 

World Suicide Prevention Day is marked worldwide annually (on 10th September) and coordinated by The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). This organization aims ‘to prevent suicide and suicidal behavior and to alleviate its effects.’ 

This year’s theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Creating hope through action’ and ‘Be the light.’ Most shockingly is the little-understood fact that, in most cases, timely interventions can make suicide preventable.   

Suicide is a complex topic to discuss, and the stigma needs to be removed to help to make suicide easier to talk about and to spot in our everyday conversations. It needs to become the norm.  

The figures speak for themselves

The World Health Organisation estimates that approximately one million people die worldwide each year from suicide, and over 77% of global suicides occur in low to middle-income countries. 

In the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2020, suicide was the 12th leading cause of death between the ages of 10-14 and in the age group of 25-34, was the second cause of death.

Notably, there were nearly two times as many suicides (47,646) in the United States in 2021 as there were homicides. This is also a rise of almost 4% year on year. 

In the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the Samaritans estimate that 6,000 people take their own lives each year, with tens of thousands further attempting suicide. Suicide is now the biggest killer of men under 45 years old in the UK, and more worryingly, suicides amongst teenage girls and young women have doubled in recent years.   

If these figures are insufficient to convince you, according to CALM, a fifth of adults reported that they had thought of taking their own life at some point.   

Pause and take time to brief yourself 

On 10th September each year, all of us at My Mind News urge you to pause and take time to play your part. Brief yourself and those around you on how to support your family, friends, and work colleagues. Look out for visible warning signs that someone you know might be in distress, although perhaps they might hide it well. 

The suicide figures are shocking, particularly in younger Western world populations. Simple actions can save lives, and we at My Mind News urge you to take 1 minute and 53 seconds to watch the IASP Step Closer video. 

Mind, CALM, and the Samaritans have also produced helpful short guides so that you can recognize those experiencing suicidal thoughts and be prepared to support them. Local charities and the NHS in the UK also provide a range of resources and support. 

You could save a life

There is no doubt that COVID-19 impacted the figures in recent years, and there is much to be done globally. We can act within our daily interactions while we wait for our governments to proactively act and agree on a robust response underpinned by the necessary funding. 

You can support suicide prevention, be the light, and take simple action to brief yourself. Be brave, look out for signs of distress, and have a conversation. You, too, could save a life. 

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