Since 2003, World Suicide Prevention Day has been observed on September 10th to raise awareness about one of today’s most pervasive health issues: mental health and suicide. It emphasises the idea that suicide may be avoided with prompt intervention and aims to create awareness about the need of taking preventative steps to minimise suicides all over the world.
International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) organizes hundreds of events along with World Health Organisation to raise awareness on suicide prevention in more than 60 countries
The theme set for this year is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ which seeks to highlight how helping people showing symptoms of distress can lead them on the path of well-being and prevent them from taking the extreme step of ending their life. It aims to highlight that there is always an alternative which can lead on to better things in life.
According to National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB), more than 1.39 lakh Indians died by suicide in the year 2019; 67 percent of which were young adults (18-45 years). There was a four percent rise in young adults committing suicide and 3.8 per cent rise in overall deaths.
This data is believed to have worsened as pandemic brought with it numerous insecurities and tough life decisions. Majority of people agreed that their mental health worsened due to the pandemic according to the findings; fear of catching the virus, health risks, no social gatherings, losing a loved one, anxiety associated with job losses could have been some of the possible reasons for mental health deterioration.
There are many complex reasons pushing people to take this extreme step of suicide like financial losses, debt, abuse, and physical illness amongst others. But experts suggest that noting warning signs and providing treatment to vulnerable people can have a great impact in reducing the number.
Awareness around how to spot signs of depression and mental health issues which enables the identification, intervention and ultimately prevention of suicides all around the world is the very motive behind celebrating the day.