The National Suicide Prevention Week is an annual campaign to share resources and raise awareness about suicide and how to prevent it. This year's event will take place from September 4th to September 10th, which is also World Suicide Prevention Day.
National Suicide Prevention Week aims to inform the public about the warning signs of suicide, reduce the stigma around talking about it, and promote seeking mental help. This year's theme is Creating Hope Through Action. The focus is on encouraging and empowering more people worldwide to take action to prevent suicides. The week, commemorated since 1975, is sponsored by The American Association of Suicidology.
Why Is Suicide Prevention Week Important?
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 12th cause of death in the country, taking the lives of over 45,000 people in 2020. Suicide Prevention Week is a time to spread awareness about suicide, reach out to individuals affected by it and promote mental health care for people with suicidal thoughts.
Speaking out about it reduces the stigma among those with suicidal thoughts or who were affected by suicide, and more people can seek mental health help.
How To Observe Suicide Prevention Week
Educate yourself and the community
The best thing you can do about suicide is to learn more about it, the factors that may lead to it and what can be done to help. With the correct information, we can first keep ourselves away from suicide and then help others with suicidal thoughts and other mental health problems.
Reach out to people with mental health issues
If left unchecked, mental health problems may lead to severe issues like depression and suicide. Most people with these issues hardly reach out for help because of the stigma and fear of being judged by others. If you notice warning signs of poor mental health, reach out and direct them where they can get help.
What Are the Warning Signs Of Suicide, And How Can I Help?
Depression is the most common quoted cause of suicide, alongside anxiety and addiction to substances. Other environmental and historical factors such as bullying and stressful events like a divorce or a prior suicide in the family may also lead to suicide.
If you notice someone:
- Talks about killing themselves, losing all hope or having no reason to live
- Has increased the use of drugs
- Has withdrawn from usual activities and is searching for ways to end their life,
or shows other similar signs, then seek help immediately. You can call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) anytime if you or someone else needs help.
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