Every 40 Seconds Someone Takes Their Own Life, Let’s Work Together To Prevent Suicides

Ankita Singh India

September 10th, 2018 / 5:55 PM

World Suicide Prevention Day

Every year on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is observed throughout the world and various activities or campaigns are launched to combat the alarming increase in suicide rates. Every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) collaborates with the International Association For Suicide Prevention (IASP) to carry seminars and other activities to reach out to people who might be struggling for help. Since its beginning in 2003, a new theme is declared every year in an attempt to work around the stigmas surrounding mental health and suicide prevention.

What facts say?

According to latest facts and figures, an estimated one million people per year die by suicide or about one person in 10,000 (1.4% of all deaths), or “a death every 40 seconds or about 3,000 every day.” This number is constantly on the rise and it is expected to reach up to the count of 1.5 million per year by 2020.

Looking at the data and surveys, the young people and the teenagers are highly vulnerable to it. In fact, some state that India has the highest suicide rate amid the youth. As per the data released by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2015, one student commits suicide every hour in India. Between 2010 and 2015, 39,775 students killed themselves. If we include the attempted suicides, the number would go much higher. A Lancet study claimed that in the age groups 15-19 and 20-24, suicides were the leading cause of death in India.

Although there are many initiatives taken to remove the stigma surrounding mental health, the current situation is dismal. There could be a host of reasons ranging from health issues to personal losses which can trigger a person to take such an extreme step. Psychologists have also linked it to a range of societal factors and major mental health issues. What’s more worrying about this situation is that despite such striking numbers, the common efforts have not succeeded and mental health is still not given much attention in our society.

No doubt suicide prevention is not easy. It requires efforts at multiple levels and it is a cohesive approach altogether. We need to realise that being there for someone going through trauma, crisis and social isolation matters. Your contribution to someone’s life – be it as a friend, a mentor, a parent or a colleague counts. Each one of us plays a pivotal role in making a difference while the other person is wading through tough days. Listening to someone in distress could be at times the best thing which you would ever do.

Suicide prevention week 2018

IASP has been preparing banners in various languages so that writers, bloggers and various mental health activists across communities could come together on the same platform and share their experiences. This could go a long way in providing support to the prevention of suicidal tendencies in people across the globe. Also, it has announced the support of Twitter on this day as when people tweet using certain hashtags; it will automatically apply international yellow and orange suicide prevention ribbon as an emoji to your hashtag.

The theme that would be observed this year is ‘Working Together To Prevent Suicide.’  Coming together and involving people through various walks could bring a major change around how we’ve been working together for it.  Mental health organisations could lead the change and even breaking the taboo surrounding this topic would let us go far in this struggle.

Also Read: Every 40 Seconds A Life Is Lost Through Suicide, Know How You Can Prevent It


Edited by : Abhinav Joshi

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