World Suicide Prevention Day, Sept. 10, 2012: What is the Theme?
World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September promotes worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides. On average, almost 3000 people commit suicide daily. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives.
As of 2011, an estimated one million people per year die by suicide or a death every 40 seconds or about 3,000 every day. According to WHO there are twenty people who have a failed suicide attempt for every one that is successful, at a rate approximately one every three seconds. Suicide is the "most common cause of death for people aged 15 – 24.
The sponsoring International Association for Suicide Prevention, the co-sponsor WHO and other partners advocate for the prevention of suicidal behaviour, provision of adequate treatment and follow-up care for people who attempted suicide, as well as responsible reporting of suicides in the media.
At the global level, awareness needs to be raised that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death. Governments need to develop policy frameworks for national suicide prevention strategies. At the local level, policy statements and research outcomes need to be translated into prevention programmes and activities in communities.
This year's theme is "Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope".
World Suicide Prevention Day gives organizations, government agencies and individuals a chance to promote awareness about suicide, mental illnesses associated with suicide, as well as suicide prevention. Organizations such as the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and World Health Organization (WHO) play a key role in promoting this event.
Events and activities for World Suicide Prevention Day include:
- The launch of new government initiatives to prevent suicide.
- Conferences, open days, educational seminars or public lectures.
- Media programs promoting suicide awareness and prevention.
- Memorial services or candlelight ceremonies to remember those who died from suicide.
- Organizing cultural or spiritual events, fairs or exhibitions.
- Launches of publications about suicide awareness and prevention.
- Training courses about suicide and depression awareness.
Many of these initiatives are celebrated in various countries worldwide. Some of these events and activities are held at a local level, while others are nation-wide. Many communities around the world reaffirm their commitment to suicide prevention on World Suicide Prevention Day.
Why do people commit suicide?
Authorities on suicide have said that people commit suicide for several reasons, including serious depression, feelings of hopelessness, loss, feeling of no sense of purpose; loss of interest in things one used to care about; insomnia, reactions to failure and disappointments, response to accumulated domestic violence, unemployment, alcohol dependence, drug use and abuse among others. Against the general belief that suicide results from mental illness, not all people who commit suicide are mentally ill.