According to the World Health Organization, there are over 800,000 cases of suicide each year. That us one person dying every 40 seconds. And in Australia, suicide numbers have increased with 3,218 people taking their own lives in 2017. These are people we love, we work with and live with everyday. And this does not include people who attempt suicide, many of which go unreported. Every death and every attempt has very significant impact to families, communities, workplaces and beyond.
With these alarming statistics, it is just awesome that there is a day when we can all look deeper into ourselves and our society regarding these unfortunate situation.
World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 is happening on 10 September, with the theme "Working Together to Prevent Suicide". During this day, many suicide prevention awareness-raising events are planned all over the world, including Australia.
This year's theme aims to highlight the most essential ingredient for effective global suicide prevention, which is collaboration. It would like to put focus to the fact that suicide is a whole-of-community issue within which we all have a role to play. And if we work together, we can collectively address the challenges presented by suicidal behaviour in society today.
This theme also complements the efforts of R U OK? Day, happening on 13 September, which supports taking time to notice what’s going on with your family, friends and colleagues – and yourself. It is about taking time to have those conversations when you notice something has changed and equipping yourself to help yourself and others.
What is World Suicide Prevention Day?
Launched in 2004, World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is an annual event that takes place on the 10th of Septemberwhere variours events, conferences, campaigns and local activities call to public attention one of the world’s largest causes of premature and unnecessary death – suicide.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), with the help of World Health Organisation (WHO), calls upon governments, government agencies, NGOs, international and national associations, local communities, clinicians, researchers and volunteers to be involved in the organisation of WSPD activities.
In Australia, the event is topbilled by Suicide Prevention Australia, the national peak body for the suicide prevention sector in the country. Started in 1992, SPA has become the voice for a relatively small number of individuals and organisations committed to suicide prevention and bereavement support. Among its focus are providing policy advice to governments, community awareness and public education, increased involvement in research and a future role in leading Australia’s engagement nationally and internationally. SPA’s mission is to deliver leadership for the meaningful reduction of suicide in Australia.
Facts about suicide in Australia
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for men and women between the ages of 15-44
- The population death rates are around 10/100,000 people every year
- Latest figures tell us that 2,866 people died by suicide in Australia in 2016
- 65,000 plan or attempt to take their life each year
- 400,000 people think about taking their life each year
- The Global Burden of Disease Report cited 36 million years of healthy life were lost as a result of suicide in 2010