World Suicide Prevention Day

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2023 Date10 September 2023
2024 Date10 September 2024
World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is a global observance aimed at raising awareness about the importance of suicide prevention, and promoting a collaborative, coordinated effort to address this vital issue. Championed by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), it seeks to destigmatize suicide discussions, support mental health initiatives, and encourage people to seek help. Every year, countless lives are touched by WSPD through educational programs, campaigns, and inspirational activities that emphasize the criticality of understanding, empathy, and action in preventing suicide.

Established in 2003, WSPD has a profound significance for India, where suicide rates are alarmingly high. According to the World Health Organization, India accounts for nearly 17% of global suicides, with more than 250,000 cases annually. The major contributing factors include mental health issues, societal pressures, financial stress, and lack of accessible mental healthcare. Initiatives such as the "National Mental Health Policy" and the "Mental Health Care Act" have been launched to reform the mental healthcare system in India, facilitating an enabling environment to address mental health conditions, improve access to care, and enact new laws to safeguard the rights of affected individuals in the country.

To commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day in India, various organizations, government bodies, and individuals organize and participate in events such as panel discussions, seminars, awareness drives, and campaigns that focus on suicide prevention and mental health literacy. Mental health professionals, schools, colleges, and workplaces open up dialogues to break the silence around mental health and extend support systems. As a part of the global community, India marks World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th of September, contributing to the joint effort for a world free of suicide.

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World Suicide Prevention Day facts

  • The theme World Suicide Prevention Day 2023 willbeswas: Creating Hope Through Action.
  • Approximately 800,000 people die due to suicide every year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
  • Men are nearly four times more likely to die by suicide than women, yet women are more likely to report suicidal thoughts.
  • A significant proportion of suicides in India are linked to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.
  • In India, exam stress is a significant factor contributing to the high rate of student suicides.

Top things to do in India for World Suicide Prevention Day

  • Explore Find a Helpline, a free online tool that connects people to helplines. This tool was established by the non-profit Live for Tomorrow and is available in over 50 countries. It lists over 1,400 services for those seeking help either for themselves or for others.
  • Participate in candlelight vigils and walks organized in the memory of those who have lost their lives to suicide. These events also often focus on spreading the message of hope and healing.
  • Volunteer at mental health organizations to support their work in suicide prevention.

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