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Why World Suicide Prevention Day Is Relevant Today?

New Delhi: It is World Suicide Prevention Day today. The concept of the day is more relevant than ever before with COVID-19 induced stress having enveloped the whole of humanity. Many people have been driven to commit suicide in the past two years.

As per World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, every 40 seconds, someone ends their life; that’s almost 800,000 individuals per year worldwide, with low- and middle-income nations accounting for more than 75% of all suicides.

The goal of World Suicide Prevention Day observed every year on September 10 is to promote the global commitment to suicide prevention. We can prevent suicide by sharing our mental health stories, raising awareness, and taking action in our communities.

The day was established in 2003 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), founded in Vienna in 1960 by Professor Erwin Ringel and Dr Norman Faberlow and co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO). IASP, a Non-Governmental Organisation now comprises experts and volunteers from 77 different nations.

Through the years, there have been themes such as “Suicide Prevention: One World Connected” and “Take a Minute, Change a Life.”

The first WHO World Suicide Report, “Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative,” was issued in 2014, focusing on suicide prevention and making it a high priority on the global public health agenda.

Over 300 activities in over 70 countries have been reported to IASP in recent years, including educational and memorial events, press briefings and conferences, as well as Facebook and Twitter coverage.

The theme for this year is “Creating hope through action”. It is a positive message that tries to motivate people to interact with this complicated issue. According to IASP president Professor Rory O’Connor, it represents the determination to instil a new sense of purpose – empowering and equipping individuals with the skills and courage to connect with someone they believe is hurting.