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World Suicide Prevention Day 2020

by Public Health Update

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is observed on September 10 each year to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides. WSPD provides the opportunity for people, across the globe, to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention. WSPD was initiated by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). 

Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. Suicide was the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally in 2016.

Theme: Working Together to Prevent Suicide

The WSPD theme is Working Together to Prevent Suicide.” Theme highlights the most essential ingredient for effective global suicide prevention- collaboration. We all have a role to play and together we can collectively address the challenges presented by suicidal behaviour in society today.

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Key facts

  • Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year.
  • For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds.
  • 79% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Ingestion of pesticide, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.

Prevention and control

Suicides are preventable. There are a number of measures that can be taken at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts. These include:

  • reducing access to the means of suicide (e.g. pesticides, firearms, certain medications);
  • reporting by media in a responsible way;
  • school-based interventions;
  • introducing alcohol policies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol;
  • early identification, treatment and care of people with mental and substance use disorders, chronic pain and acute emotional distress;
  • training of non-specialized health workers in the assessment and management of suicidal behaviour;
  • follow-up care for people who attempted suicide and provision of community support.

Suicide is a complex issue and therefore suicide prevention efforts require coordination and collaboration among multiple sectors of society, including the health sector and other sectors such as education, labour, agriculture, business, justice, law, defense, politics, and the media. These efforts must be comprehensive and integrated as no single approach alone can make an impact on an issue as complex as suicide.

Source of Info: IASP & WHO

Everyone can make a contribution in preventing suicide.


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