Over 700,000 people worldwide commit suicide each year and for each one of those, there are another 20 suicide attempts.1 It is impossible to know how many more people have thoughts of or contemplate suicide. Suicide ranks consistently among the top 20 causes of death globally across all age groups. One in every 100 deaths worldwide is the result of suicide – it can effect every one of us.
In conjunction with the International Association for Suicide Prevention, WHO established World Suicide Prevention Day in 2003. The simple goal is to raise awareness of suicide as a public health concern and work to reduce suicide with the belief that suicide can be prevented. World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th and the theme since last year has been “Creating Hope Through Action.” The meaning and explanation of this theme is powerful:
“By creating hope through action, we can signal to people experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and that we care and want to support them. It also suggests that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling……We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide whether as a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a person with lived experience. We can all encourage understanding about the issue, reach out to people who are struggling, and share our experiences. We can all create hope through action and be the light.1”
Suicide prevention is possible. It is important to understand how you can help individuals who may be in crisis and contemplating suicide. Learn the warning signs. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides the following warning signs and behaviors:
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- Aggressive behavior
- Withdrawal from friends, family and community
- Dramatic mood swings
- Impulsive or reckless behavior
Suicidal behaviors are a psychiatric emergency. If you or a loved one starts to take any of these steps, seek immediate help from a health care provider or call 911:
- Collecting and saving pills or buying a weapon
- Giving away possessions
- Tying up loose ends, like organizing personal papers or paying off debts
- Saying goodbye to friends and family
Encourage those struggling and in need to seek help. 988 – The National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was launched in July of this year. It provides 27/7 access to crisis counselors to help anyone experiencing a mental health crisis and thoughts of suicide. And Behavioral Health Solutions’ compassionate providers can help: Call us at 702-608-1976
1 The World Health Organization (WHO): Creating Hope Through Action.