World Suicide Prevention Day

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2024 Date10 September 2024
2025 Date10 September 2025

World Suicide Prevention Day

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World Suicide Prevention Day History

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is an annual observance dedicated to raising awareness about suicide as a global public health issue and promoting actions that can reduce its incidence. Organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), this day emphasizes the importance of preventing suicide through collaborative efforts of governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals. It aims to spread awareness, reduce stigma, and encourage effective prevention measures that can save lives.

In South Africa, suicide is a pressing concern. According to a study by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), approximately 9% of all deaths in the country are due to suicide, making it one of the leading causes of death. To address this issue, various organizations such as SADAG and the South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) participate in observing WSPD through different initiatives. These organizations focus on research, advocacy, and providing support services to those in need. Additionally, they aim to increase awareness about risk factors, warning signs, and available treatments, targeting both the general population and specific at-risk groups such as young people, women, and those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Observance of WSPD in South Africa is marked by various events and activities ranging from conferences, workshops, and seminars to awareness campaigns and media engagement. These events aim to empower individuals, communities, and healthcare providers with vital information and resources to recognize and respond to suicide risks. World Suicide Prevention Day takes place on the 10th of September every year, providing a crucial platform for South Africans to openly discuss, address, and work towards reducing the tragic loss of lives due to suicide.

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.
  • South African men are more likely to die by suicide than women, with a rate almost five times higher than that of women in the country. SADAG reports that 1 in 4 South African men have thought about suicide at some point in their lives.
  • In South Africa, suicide is a more prevalent issue among young people, with the 15 to 29 age group having the highest risk for suicide.

Top things to do in South Africa 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.
  • South Africa has several helplines that offer support to people in distress or those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts. You can support these helplines by volunteering or raising awareness.
  • Share messages of hope, understanding, and support on your social media platforms using the designated hashtags for World Suicide Prevention Day.

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