World Suicide Prevention Day 2020: Light a candle in support
10th September 2020
10th of September is a day on which people around the globe educate themselves, raise awareness, and promote worldwide commitment to suicide and suicide prevention. World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 is organised by expert organisations International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organisation both of which strive to prevent suicide, alleviate its effects and provide forums to support professionals and survivors.
According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, every 40 seconds one person takes their own life which inadvertently affects the life of another 135 people. Globally, suicide is in the top 20 leading causes of death and it is responsible for the loss of over 800,000 people worldwide. When explored further, in numerous European countries, suicide is one of the main causes of death in young people.
In a recent study of the National Child Mortality Database, it was found that the impact of the COVID pandemic might result in a rise in suicides among children due to the isolation. The theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 is “Working together to prevent suicide” and it aims to reduce these numbers by encouraging people to act and possibly, save a life.
How can we work together to prevent suicide?
According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, school-based universal prevention is one of the main ways to reduce the number of suicides among young people. These programs equip students with the knowledge to recognise the warning signs of suicide not only in themselves, but others. This curriculum-based approach is proved to also improve coping skills and increase help-seeking behaviour.
Here’s some of the advice you should offer your students:
- Listen and reach out – active listening and support are one of the main ways in which you can help. Show compassion and encourage those who are suffering to express their pain and listen to what they have to say. It is not shameful to talk about suicide, it is vital.
- Don’t overlook their feelings – their problems or pain may seem insignificant to you, but it might mean the world to them. Never dismiss someone else’s feelings or experiences based on yours.
- Encourage them to get professional help – help them gather the strength to seek professional help. Even after they have made the appointment, stay with them and ensure they are committed to their appointments and treatment.
- Act immediately – if you hear someone talking about death, suicide, or any type of self-harm, don’t wait. These are warning signs and they shouldn’t be neglected or dismissed as jokes.
Detecting and tracking at-risk students and identifying trends can be difficult. Every school should be able to safeguard their children regardless of budget restrictions. Here at Impero, we put learner wellbeing at the heart, which is why Impero back:drop, our digital safeguarding tool is free for school, today, tomorrow and for as long as a school wishes to use it. Learn more and sign-up for free here.
What can you do to support World Suicide Prevention Day 2020?
- The International Association for Suicide Prevention invites people to light a candle in support of suicide prevention, for the lost lives and for the survivors. Light a candle near your window at 8pm on the 10th of September.
- From the 10th September to the 10th October 2020 you can take part in the Cycling Around the Globe initiative to help raise awareness and to find suicide prevention activities. Read more about it here.
- Share your images and your thoughts on social media, using the following hashtags: #WSPD, #worldsuicidepreventionday, #BeThe1To.