World Suicide Prevention Day 2020: Light a candle in support
September 10th is a day for people around the globe to learn, raise awareness, and promote worldwide commitment to suicide and suicide prevention. World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 has been organized by expert organizations, International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization, to prevent suicide and provide forums to support professionals and survivors.
According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, someone takes their own life every 40 seconds. This inadvertently affects the lives of 135 others. Globally, suicide is in the top 20 leading causes of death and it is responsible for the loss of over 800,000 people per year worldwide. In the U.S., suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people aged 15-24.
In a recent study by the National Child Mortality Database in the UK, it was found that the impact of the COVID pandemic might result in a rise in suicides among children. 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, which may 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. The idea is to equip students with knowledge to recognize 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 behavior.
Here’s some of the advice schools can offer students:
- Listen and reach out – active listening and support are one of the main ways to help. Show compassion and encourage those who are suffering to express their pain verbally and listen to what they have to say. Remember that it is not shameful to talk about suicide, but that it is vital.
- Don’t overlook their feelings – never dismiss someone else’s feelings or experiences based on your own. One person’s problems or pain may seem insignificant to you, but it might mean the world to them.
- 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 should not be neglected or dismissed as jokes.
Detecting and tracking at-risk students and identifying trends can be difficult. Every school should be able to keep students safe regardless of budget restrictions. Here at Impero, we put learner wellbeing at the heart and have built tools to help administrators support students who may be struggling. Learn more 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 lost lives by suicide and for survivors. Light a candle near your window at 8 p.m. on September 10th to support this cause.
- From September 10th to October 10th, 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.
Together, we can help prevent suicide.