What is World Suicide Prevention day?
World Suicide Prevention Day is held each year on 10 September. It's an annual awareness raising event organised by International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This year's theme is about understanding the impact that reaching out to people at risk can have in preventing suicide, and ultimately saving lives.
Why is it important?
More than 800,000 people take their lives each year across the world. In the UK and ROI, more than 6,000 people die by suicide a year - an average of 18 a day.
Reaching out to people who are going through a difficult time can be a game changer. People who are feeling low or suicidal often feel worthless and think that no-one cares. Small things like hearing from friends or family, feeling listened to or just being asked the question 'are you ok?' can make a huge difference.
What you can do
Start a conversation today if you think a friend, colleague or family member may be struggling. You can also join us on Twitter to spread the word and ask the question #RUOK?
When a person reaches a point where they are focused on taking their life, they’ve often lost sight of trying to find a way through their problems. This period usually only lasts a short while and often it doesn’t take a huge amount to bring someone back from that decision – something as simple as asking, ‘are you ok?’ can be enough to move someone out of suicidal crisis.
How can people reach out?
It can be daunting to approach someone who is struggling to cope; you may not know what to say, how to start a difficult conversation or worry that you'll make things worse. However, you don’t need to be an expert. Often, just asking if someone's OK can give people the confidence to open up about how they're feeling.
Other sources of information
Samaritans is here round the clock every single day for the year for anyone struggling to cope. If you're worried about someone, or would like emotional support yourself, please get in touch. Take a look at charity R U OK? who are already running an #RUOK campaign in Australia.
- Other sources of help
- Worried about someone?
- How to start a difficult conversation
- Having a conversation in person
- Supporting someone online