Today is World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 and is a day to raise awareness about suicide prevention and hopefully change lives before it is too late.
With 65,000 people attempting suicide each year and hundreds of thousands of people thinking about committing suicide, World Suicide Prevention day aims to open up the conversations and help those in the darkness.Across the world nearly 800,000 commit suicide each year which is one person every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organisation.
This is the 15th year of World Suicide Prevention Day, it was set up in 2003 by the International Association of Suicide.
The theme of this year’s awareness day is, ‘Take a minute, change a life.’
There will be activities taking place around the world to raise awareness about suicide, including the International Association of Suicide Prevention’s cycle around the world.
195 participants are cycling 62,574.7 miles in support of World Suicide Prevention Day for IASP – more than twice the circumference of the planet.
You can show your support through cycling yourself and register to do so here.
Jane Pirkis, acting president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention, encourages everyone to take a minute to change someone’s life she says: ‘Someone in distress will always be helped by being listened to with compassion and empathy.
‘By encouraging them to tell their story at their own pace we can also help to change the way they might be thinking or feeling their behaviour and even their life.’
Pirkis also encourages people to listen to those who have experienced suicidal thoughts.
She said: ‘One group from who we can learn a lot are the people who have experienced suicidal behaviour.
‘Those with lived experience can teach us the importance actions and words of other, many of these inspiring individuals will say that if one person had taken a minute to ask them how they were this could have prevented them from engaging in suicidal behavior. ‘
Thursday September 14 will be R U OK? Day which is aimed at starting conversations around mental health.
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116 123, or visit a local Samaritans branch. See samaritans.org for details.
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