Today, September 10th, is recognized as World Suicide Prevention Day. According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), over 800,000 people die by suicide every year, equating to about one death every 40 seconds. And for every suicide, another 25 attempts are made, with so many more harboring suicidal thoughts or feelings.
As I’ve said before, in my darkest moments I struggled with what I call passive suicidal feelings, meaning I didn’t necessarily think about actively dying by suicide, but I also didn’t necessarily care about my life and my well-being. Fortunately, I had people in my life who cared about me and caught me before I slipped further. And everyone has people who care and resources that they can use if they struggle with similar darkness.
The above image from the IASP demonstrates just how many people there are who can help catch someone before they fall. And we need everyone’s involvement. Because as the numbers I mentioned above show, suicide is a massive global problem, and one that will require tremendous effort and collaboration to address. Suicide is preventable if we work together.
And World Suicide Prevention Day is a day to recognize this fact and renew our commitments to a future where less lives are lost to suicide. It is a chance to educate others about the battle against mental illness generally, and the fight to save lives from suicide specifically.
So if you are reading this, you are helping just by keeping an open mind, so thank you. If you are looking for more things that you can do, you can check out some suggested activities from the IASP