World Suicide Prevention Day, know the signs


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — World Suicide Prevention Day is observed each year on September 10.

According to the World Health Organization, every 40 seconds someone takes their own life. That’s about 800,000 people worldwide every year. Although some estimates put that number closer to 1 million. The majority of these occur in underdeveloped and developing countries.

The facts:

  1. It’s part of a mental health emergency: 1 in 15 American adults suffer from depression but the good news is that 80-90% of people respond positively to treatment if depression is correctly diagnosed.
  2. Older people are more likely to die from suicide: Suicide is most common among people between the ages of 45 and 64.
  3. Men commit suicide more often: Men commit suicide more often than women, but women are more likely to attempt it.
  4. Early detection is key: That’s why, as WHO points out, “prevention efforts must be comprehensive and integrated as no single approach alone can make an impact.”
  5. The clock is ticking: Just about every 12 minutes someone kills themselves in America.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 29. For every suicide that results in death, there are as many as 40 attempted suicides. Undiagnosed and untreated mental illness is the biggest reason behind suicide.

In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. Suicide among girls and women between 2000 and 2016 increased by 50%. In 2019, there were 1.38 million documented suicide attempts in the U.S. And in the United States, Caucasian ethnic groups have the highest rate of suicide.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) created World Suicide Prevention Day in 2003. The main goal of the campaign is “the organization of global, regional and national multi-sectoral activities to increase awareness about suicidal behaviors and how to effectively prevent them.”

If you know someone struggling with mental health or thinking about suicide:

If someone is thinking about suicide, it should be taken very seriously and non-judgementally.

Help the individual seek professional help and DO NOT leave them alone.

Emergency steps may need to be taken like calling 911, or the suicide prevention hotline at 988.

Remind them they are loved and have a purpose.


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