Today marks the 17th World Suicide Prevention Day. This year’s theme is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.”
“The theme places emphasis on the most necessary ingredient of effective global suicide prevention, which is teamwork,” said Murad Khan, the president of International Association for Suicide Prevention, in a WSPD video. “We all have a role to play and collectively, we can make a difference.”
Observed globally on September 10, the day was created by IASP. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 800,000 people die by suicide every year, translating to one person every 40 seconds. It is also the second leading cause of death among those aged 15-29.
“Never underestimate the power that your love and support can have,” Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention told HuffPost. “It’s important to have a quiet, loving presence, where you say supportive things, for example, ‘I want to understand what you’re going through’ and do more listening than talking.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, you can contact one of the following support centres:
Distress Centres of Greater Toronto, 416-408-4357;
Gerstein Centre Crisis Line, 416-929-5200;
Kids Help Phone, 1-800-668-6868;