The importance of Working Together to Prevent Suicide | Daily News


The importance of Working Together to Prevent Suicide

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is observed annually on September 10 (today) to raise awareness regarding the subject of suicide and the actions that can be taken to prevent these tragedies on a global scale. In 2003, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) collaborated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) to host the first ever World Suicide Prevention Day. Since then many countries around the world have joined them in this venture. This is the second year that the WSPD theme is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.” This theme will also be used for WSPD 2020. It has been chosen as it highlights the most essential ingredient for effective global suicide prevention- collaboration.

According to the suicide data collection done by the WHO, close to 800,00 people die each year, due to suicide, boiling down to 1 death every 40 seconds and that is not taking into account the 20 million suicide attempts. However, reducing these tragedies into statistics does not mean that there are set causes or stereotypes that can be applied to it. There are several convergences that finally lead to suicide. Often it is a combination of genetic, psychological, social, cultural and other risk factors additionally combined with the experience of loss and trauma, that can wreak havoc in people’s lives. Not just the ones that take their own lives but of those around them as well. “For each suicide approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected.”

Regardless of the immediate cause or trigger that leads to suicide, ignoring all the factors that play a role would be a gross misrepresentation of the suffering of so many people. Each of these heterogenous individuals present a wide array of multifaceted causal influences that precede the final act. And it is often this heterogeneity that presents the biggest challenge in the prevention of suicide.

The observance of World Suicide Prevention Day seeks to highlight that through the adoption of a multilevel and cohesive approach, each individual can work towards suicide prevention. Even the smallest members of society can play a massive role, through initiating conversation, educating oneself and others about the causes and warning signs of suicide. Perhaps most importantly, even the simplest gestures of compassion can help save a life.

Suicide prevention

The ongoing pandemic has created a world environment that is harsh and seriously detrimental for mental health, especially with the downturn of the economy, the isolation that has come with months of social distancing and the sheer stress of navigating through life while people across the globe are suffering through a dangerous virus. These circumstances have pandemonium all around the globe, making this the most imperative time to focus on suicide prevention.

Stretch out your hand to someone who may need help. It’s widely known that certain behaviours indicate the possibility of suicide. We can all learn the warning signs of suicidal “ideation.” If we spot them early enough, we can take action. Talking about this issue is an important first step in ridding society of the idea that mental health issues should remain hidden. On World Suicide Prevention Day, host or simply attend a panel discussion on how mental problems intensify thoughts of suicide. World Suicide Prevention Day provides lots of resources for people to learn more about the reasons for suicide and how to prevent them. Knowledge is not only power — knowledge can save someone’s life.

Signs to look out for

Together, we can remove the stigma around mental health, we can make people feel connected and supported and we can work towards a world free of suicide. Signs to look out for: Talking or writing about hurting themselves, dying or saying that they want to die; Talking about ways to die or having a suicide plan; Saying that they are ‘trapped’ or have no options in their life; Saying they have no purpose in their life, that they feel hopeless; Engaging in self-harm or reckless, risk taking behaviour; Giving items away or saying goodbye to people; Becoming more inward looking and withdrawing from family and friends; Changes in their sleep patterns – too much or too little sleep; Extreme emotions or dramatic changes in mood; Increasing their use of drugs or alcohol. When you know the signs, you can follow three simple steps, A.P.R. (Ask – Persuade – Refer) – and just like CPR, it can save a life.

If someone opens up to you, don’t be afraid to Ask them directly if they are thinking of suicide or want to kill themselves. Talking to them openly and honestly is one of the best things you can do. Even just listening is one of the most powerful tools available to us. Once you have asked the question, calmly and gently Persuade them to seek help or to allow you to assist them in getting help. Refer or guide them to a suicide helpline – if you can, make the call with them or travel with them to the appointment.

Powerful Quotes

• “Never, never, never give up.”

• “The person who completes suicide dies once. Those left behind die a thousand deaths, trying to relive those terrible moments and understand… why?”

• “Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up.”

• “When you feel like giving up, just remember the reason why you held on for so long.”

“You have the power to say, this is not how my story will end”.

- Hindustan Times and newsd


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