According to International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), every 40 seconds, someone takes away their own life. This results in almost 800,000 lives lost per year around the world, with 75% from low-and-middle-income countries.
The global suicide rate is over twice as high among men as women. As the biggest continent in the world, according to the data, 60% of the world’s suicides are from Asia, with China, India, and Japan accounting for 40%.
With this, IASP, in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), has established 10 Sep as the World’s Suicide Prevention Day, annually. This event was established in 2003 and since then, has been observed by different governments, organizations, and private groups from around the world.
Through this, they hope to raise awareness and drive more preventive actions against suicide, the stigmatized and still tabooed issue in society.
World Suicide Prevention Day 2022
For this year’s theme, the IASP continues its “Creating Hope Through Action” advocacy from last year. This theme emphasizes that suicide can be prevented as we bring hope and encouragement through our actions to people with suicidal thoughts. These actions, no matter how big or small, can bring hope and will open minds to solutions and provide safe spaces for people to seek help. This campaign believes that our collective efforts can achieve something big.
The campaign also aims to set suicide awareness and prevention on the public priority agenda in different countries, especially for those who have low access to mental health services.
For IASP, building on this theme and spreading this message, a world can be envisioned where suicides are not prevalent.
Here are Some Actions That Can Create Hope as we participate in #WorldSuicidePreventionDay2022.
Spreading suicide awareness online by using the World Suicide Prevention Day banner and ribbon
Back in 2018, in support of Twitter, IASP announced the launch of international suicide prevention ribbon emoji in yellow and orange, for World Suicide Prevention Day. When someone tweets one of the designated hashtags in 16 different languages, this ribbon will automatically appear.
Aside from this emoji, IASP also created the World Suicide Prevention Day banner that is downloadable in 65 languages. This banner can be placed on different websites to further promote and spread World Suicide Prevention Day all around the world.
These actions may be small but if engaged by many people, can create a strong message, and build a community of people willing to bring hope to people who need it the most.
Participating in different world suicide prevention day activities
We can stretch out our participation in this agenda from online to the actual world by involving different IASP-prepared activities.
In support of suicide prevention month, we can remember lost loved ones and survivors of suicide by lighting a candle near a window at 8 pm on September 10. We can also take part in the #CycleTheGlobe campaign from September 10 to October 10, 2022, the month-long period from World Suicide Prevention Day until World Mental Health Day. This activity encourages people to cycle at any distance on any road, track, or field and helps raise awareness about suicide.
This activity is free of charge and interested participants can register at this link: https://register.enthuse.com/ps/event/CycleAroundtheGlobe2022
Take the time to reach out and #bethelight
Suicidal thoughts are complex and vary from one person to another. It is by reaching out to them and listening to their personal experiences and struggles that we will know how we can fully help them. As we reach out, we do not need to have a definite solution to their current struggles. Sometimes, all we can do is have an open ear willing to listen and an open mind able to understand. By reaching out to them, we can create a safe space where they can freely share their hearts without fear of judgement.
Understanding has a very important role in creating hope for people. It goes hand in hand as we reach out to them. In times of darkness, our presence with our utmost understanding can be the light that makes one move forward and think differently about life.
The main goal of World Suicide Prevention Day is to raise awareness of suicide and encourage people to participate in ensuring the battle stops. No matter how we celebrate and take part in it, the purpose is still the same: through our personal and collective actions, we will be able to bring hope to the hopeless and make them realize that there is an action other than suicide.