In collaboration with the World Health Organization, the International Association for Suicide Prevention created World Suicide Prevention Day in 2004. The event is intended to educate people on the dangers of psychological distress and to encourage those who experience suicidal thoughts to seek professional help.
Held each year on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day allows people worldwide to host educational events, campaigns and activities about ways to reduce suicides. These events allow individuals to learn more about the stressors that contribute to suicide.
During these events, literature containing information about suicide prevention and the importance of lifesaving treatment is dispersed to crowds. Some events feature eye-opening speeches from the loved ones of people affected by suicide.
World Suicide Prevention Day also serves as an opportunity to speak about the realities of mental illness. Many people who end their own lives grappled with a mental health disorder like depression.
In the United States, September is National Suicide Prevention Month. National Suicide Prevention Week takes place Sept. 9 to 15.
Facts About Suicide
Suicide is a public health concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 45,000 people in the United States ended their lives in 2016, making suicide a leading cause of death in the country. However, suicide is not just a problem specific to America. It is a worldwide issue.
According to the organization Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, in the United States:
- Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death
- Each day, 105 Americans end their lives
- Suicide kills 38,000 people each year
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in America, as it affects about 1 in 4 American adults each year. However, only 50 percent of Americans with a major depressive episode receive treatment.
Around the world:
- Depression is the leading cause of disability
- One person dies of suicide every 40 seconds
- Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24
Suicide is nearly four times higher among men than women, but women attempt suicide nearly three times as often as men. Death by firearm is the most commonly used method of suicide among men, whereas poisoning is the most commonly used method of suicide among women.
Age statistics associated with suicide:
- Suicide is the fourth-leading cause of death among people ages 18 to 65
- Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed
- One in 100,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year
Among LGBTQ+ individuals, suicide rates are higher than that of the general population. A study showed that 41 percent of transgender adults attempted suicide, and 61 percent of transgender people who were victims of physical assault attempted to end their lives. Lesbian, gay and bisexual children are three times more likely than heterosexual kids to attempt suicide at some point in their lives.
Suicide Prevention Resources
Some of the world’s most prominent companies have raised awareness for suicide on World Suicide Prevention Day. Last year, Facebook strived to connect people with suicide prevention resources, including support group meetings. The technology company also implored people to reach out to Facebook if they see something on the website that makes them concerned about a friend’s well-being.
People grappling with depressive symptoms or suicidal thoughts should call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. The helpline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for callers or their loved ones who are in distress.
Individuals with a mental illness should also speak with a mental health professional about their psychological problems. During therapy, people can learn the cause of their distress and ways to better manage stress, anxiety and depression.
Treatment is the most effective way to reduce mental illness or addiction. At The Recovery Village, people can receive evidence-based treatment that caters to their specific needs. To learn how treatment can help you deal with mental health or substance use disorders, contact The Recovery Village today.