- World Mental Health Day Thursday 10th October 2019: Objective: to raise awareness of mental health issues and this years focus is on suicide prevention
- World Suicide Prevention Day 10 September 2019: Raising Awareness on suicide - providing resources, guides and support.
The purpose of the key dates are to raise awareness of mental health and understand that suicide can be prevented. Every one of us have an important role to play and by working together we can help to prevent suicide.
You can make a difference – as a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbour.
Did you realise that every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide? In this four minute video Dr Devora Kestel, (Director, Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse for the Wold Health Organization), gives a helpful insight into what works and what doesn't work in the prevention of suicide.
Take A Minute
The IASP, (International Association for Suicide Prevention) have put together a fantastic guide with some simple ways to check in on both yourself and those around you: the first step is to take a minute. Take a minute to check in with a friend or colleague, ask them about their lives, notice their behaviours and body language. Take a minute to reach out and start a conversation if you notice a friend or family member is quieter or more withdrawn. Take a minute to find out what support is available, and the resources that can help you or someone you know.
There are a number of other campaigns such as the #YouCanTalk campaign, with the driving message that "you don’t have to be a clinician, GP or nurse to check in with the person whom you are concerned about." They highlight that sometimes people are aware others are suffering but hope they will seek help elsewhere or from a medical expert, but this is not necessary - a simple word to show that their difficulty has not gone unnoticed and that people care might be all that is needed. Find out more here.
Another conversation movement, RUOK? encourages others to ask that simple question that can make all the difference. So, are you okay? Are your friends okay? When was the last time you asked them? When was the last time they asked you? Try starting a fun conversation also, such as learning about their hidden talents or something they like to do.
Finally, you can Take 5 to save Lives. This campaign encourages people to:
- Learn the warning signs
- Do your part
- Practise self-care
- Reach out
- Spread the word
To read more about these campaigns, check out the full guide from IASP. Working with the World Health Organisation, the IASP aim to help mobilize efforts in support of mental health and break the silence - and you can do the same today.
- Every year close to 800,000 people take their own life
- These tragedies have horrific effects on families, communities and entire countries
- Second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally
Together we can help to change peoples' lives. Be aware. Be kind. Be there.