“Every day, we lose many lives to suicide, and many more are profoundly impacted by their deaths. We acknowledge all who experience the challenges of suicidal ideation, and those who have lost loved ones through suicide.” (WSPD 2019)
Today is Suicide Prevention Day, a date in the annual calendar to remind us that the prevention of suicide is a universal challenge. Mental health awareness has been raised significantly over the past few years with many companies trying to provide employees and colleagues with internal and external support. However, it is a difficult subject to talk about and can be a crushing and painful time for anyone involved.
Every year an estimated 1 million people take their own life and the number is expected to reach 1.5 million by 2020. Suicide is in the top 20 leading causes of death worldwide, ranging higher than murder and war. For every suicide 25 people make an attempt and many more have suicidal thoughts. Suicide doesn’t just affect the person committing, attempting or struggling with it, it can have a huge impact on partners, children, parents, friends and colleagues. Current records illustrate that approximately 135 people are impacted by a person’s suicide.
The numbers are truly shocking and show that many of us are or might in the future be exposed to suicide in one way or another. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) was founded in 1960 to prevent suicidal behaviour, lessen its impact and provide a forum for professionals, volunteers, suicide survivors and the general public. In 2003 Suicide Prevention Day was added to the calendar in order to raise awareness worldwide and observe commitment and action to prevent suicide. Every year on the 10th September events and activities take place worldwide to spread the word, including IASP’s Cycle Around the Globe event or the Light a Candle campaign.
When I joined Ciret a few weeks ago, I was extremely pleased to see that the company takes mental health and its employee’s wellbeing very seriously. As well as private support from the management team, every member of staff receives access to a free 24hr confidential helpline that can be used for worries and struggles of any sort. Mental health might have lost its taboo status, but not everyone has enough courage and trust to confide in someone they know. Helplines provide incredible anonymous support and will have helped numerous individuals cope with life’s difficulties.
I’m sure we can all agree that life can be testing and depressing at times. Every day we’re hit with hardship, stress and many other challenges that can wear us down and can easily become unbearable. Now more than ever it is important for us all to reach out to family, friends or available resources to prevent what must be someone’s absolute last resort – suicide.
WSPD, 2019. Online at: www.iasp.info/wspd2019/ [Accessed 02.09.2019]
IASP, 2019. Online at: https://www.iasp.info/ [Accessed 02.09.2019]