Today is World Suicide Prevention Day (yes, it does indeed fall in the middle of National Suicide Prevention Week, which falls in the middle of National Suicide Prevention Month). I have often had the thought that, instead of devoting a day or a week or a month to suicide awareness, we should dedicate every single day of the year to it. It’s possible that I’m biased, but I don’t think so.
Did you know that suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world, especially among young people? Nearly one million people worldwide die by suicide each year, with one death by suicide occurring approximately every 40 seconds. The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined. These staggering figures do not include nonfatal suicide attempts, which occur much more frequently than deaths by suicide.*
Stigma is a major barrier to suicide prevention. Raising awareness is key.