The week of September 9-September 15 is National Suicide Prevention Week. Did you know that 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression yet two-thirds of those never get help? Depression is a leading cause of suicide making suicide the third leading cause of death for adolescents. (Via TWLOHA) These numbers are neither comforting nor acceptable. In addition to National Suicide Prevention Week, the International Association for Suicide Prevention deemed September 10 World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). This means we start Suicide Prevention Week off with a day of real action.
- Data from the WHO indicate that approximately one million people worldwide die by suicide each year. This corresponds to one death by suicide every 40 seconds.
- The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined. Suicide attempts and suicidal ideation are far more common; for example, the number of suicide attempts may be up to 20 times the number of deaths by suicide.
- It is estimated that about 5% of persons attempt suicide at least once in their life and that the lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation in the general population is between 10 and 14%.
- Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among the young.
- Suicide statistics may not always be accurate. Many suicides are hidden among other causes of death, such as single car, single driver road traffic accidents, unwitnessed drownings and other undetermined deaths.
- Suicide is estimated to be under-reported for multiple reasons including stigma, religious concerns and social attitudes.
- The psychological and social impact of suicide on the family and community is enormous.
- The economic costs associated with self-inflicted death or injuries are estimated to be in the billions of US dollars a year.
Who is at Risk of Suicide?
- Suicide affects everyone, but some groups are at higher risk than others.
- A history of previous suicide attempt(s) or self-harm is the strongest predictor of future death by suicide, corresponding to a 30-40 times higher suicide rate than the general population.
- People with a psychiatric disorder and/or substance-related disorder.
- Those who experience stressful life events
- Light a candle near a window at 8 pm on WSPD and show unified support for suicide prevention.
- Use social media to get involved. Go nuts! The hashtags for Twitter and Tumblr are #WSPD12 and #TWLOHA
- Check out To Write Love on Her Arms on Twitter (@TWLOHA) and Facebook. There will be an orange logo you can use as a profile pic to show your support.
If you are suffering, please tell someone. I want to believe that within each of us lies the dim light of hope. If you see a friend suffering, please don’t walk away. More than anything, they need your love and compassion so that dim light can brighten. Help is as far as an outstretched hand or a phone call. We can change those statistics one person at a time.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline:
Visions is also here to help you no matter the time, day or night: 866-889-3665