World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD)

  • What is World Suicide Prevention Day?
  • Talking with people
  • What are suicidal feelings?
  • Suicide warning signs

  • What is World Suicide Prevention Day?

    WSPD is an awareness day is recognised on 10 September every year, with the view to offer a global commitment and action to put an end to suicides, with various activities around the world. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), partners with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health, to proprietor World Suicide Prevention Day.

    In 2011 an estimated 40 countries hosted awareness events in honour of the occasion. The United Nations issued 'National Policy for Suicide Prevention' in the 1990s which some countries employ as a blueprint when forming suicide prevention policies. Every year, more than 800,000 people pass away through suicide and up to 25 times the figure attempt to take their own lives. Behind these statistics are the individual narratives of those who have, for many different reasons, queried the value and purpose of their own lives.

    Each one of these individuals is part of a community. Some may be well linked in to this community, and have a network of family, friends and work colleagues or school mates. Others may be less well connected, and some may be quite isolated. Regardless of the circumstances, communities play a vital role in supporting those who are most susceptible to depression and suicidal tendencies.


    Talking with people

    Connect with people and ask how someone is If you think someone might be feeling unwell, don’t be afraid to ask how they are. Anyone can experience a mental health problem, so being able to talk about it is important to us all. And you don’t need to be an expert on mental health. Often, small everyday actions can make the biggest difference.


    What are suicidal feelings?

    If you feel you cannot carry on or can’t see a reason for you should go on living, your existence can appear unliveable. You may despise or loathe yourself and think that you’re useless and unwanted or needed by anyone in life. You may feel anger, shame and guilt. Get involved in WSPD activities There are plenty of avenue’s to connect with people, communicate and care for World Suicide Prevention Day.


    Suicide warning signs

    Any of the following could be potential warning signs for suicide:

    Excessive sadness or frequent mood swings: Extensive sadness, sudden changes in mood for no apparent reason, and unpredictable bursts of anger.

    Hopelessness: Feelings of no hope for the future and cannot see how things can get better, with minimal expectation that everyday existence can get better

    Sleep problems: Suicidal, depression and feeling of anxiety can impair a person’s function to sleep properly, if not at all leading to chronic insomnia.

    Sudden calmness: Suddenly appearing calm post a period of mania can be an indication that the person has given up and decided to end their life.

    Social withdrawal: Opting to be on one’s own and distancing themselves from friends or social activities are potential symptoms of depression, a front runner in the cause of suicide. This consists of the depletion of interests or fun in activities the person used to enjoy.

    Changes in personality and/or appearance: Someone who is debating suicide may display a change in attitude or behaviour, such as speech or movement with abnormal speed or sluggishness. Further, the person could abruptly become less bothered regarding his or her personal appearance.

    Dangerous or self-harmful behaviour: Potentially deadly behavioural actions, like careless driving, engaging in unsafe sex, and elevated use of substance abuse might point towards that the person no longer values their life. Recent trauma or life crisis: A major life crises might prompt a suicide attempt. Crises can be the passing away of a relative or pet, divorce or relationship break up, diagnosis of a major illness, losing a job, or big financial issues.

    Making preparations: Often, a person considering suicide will start to prioritise and structure their life around them in a way they didn’t do before. This might include visiting friends and family members, giving away personal possessions, making a will, and cleaning up his or her room or home. Some people planning to take their own life will write a note before killing themselves. Some will buy a firearm or other means like poison.

    Threatening suicide: Between a half to two-thirds of those considering suicide will issue someone – often a close a friend or relative - a warning sign before they carry out the intention. Not every person contemplating suicide will say so, and not everyone who threatens an act of suicide will go through with the threat.

    However, every threat of suicide should be taken seriously and not overlooked as a burst of anger that a person will get over and continue as normal. They might want to talk about it, or they might not. But just letting them know they don’t have to pretend the issue doesn’t exist or that they have no one to talk to is important.

    The issue with you is important. Just spending time with a person can be enough to let them know you care and can help you understand what they’re going through and the reasons they feel the way they do. For more information about suicide and World Suicide Prevention Day please visit the WSPD website