World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is observed on 10th September 2021 and aims to raise awareness and provide worldwide commitment and action towards suicide prevention.
If you are in crisis, visit our Urgent help page.
Across the world more than 700,000 people each year die due to suicide every year (Source: UCL).
The World Suicide Prevention day can be marked by wearing or posting a yellow and orange ribbon, which promotes suicide awareness around the world. It symbolises a candle flame. You can also light a candle in your windows at 8pm on Friday 10th September. Find out more about lighting a candle via the International Association of Suicide Prevention.
Samaritans has published the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on suicide rates, self-harm rates, suicidal attempts and thoughts, that you can read here. This draws on research from the UCL Covid-19 Social Study.
UCL has a programme of events that you can sign up to via this website.
Zero Suicide Alliance - Suicide Let's Talk is a training programme that takes 30 minutes and aims to give you the confidence and skills to help someone who may be considering suicide.
National Suicide Prevention Alliance: Sign up to receive a free toolkit for the day and their resources hub
Doctors in Distress aim to prevent suicide amongst healthcare workers through support groups
Support after Suicide brings suicide bereavement organisations and people with lived experience to support those affected by suicide
Flick through the slides above to see resources, activities, and support that is available for those affected by suicide or are having suicidal thoughts.
UCL supported World Suicide Awareness day.
Take 30 minutes to complete the Zero Suicide Alliance - Suicide Let's Talk programme. This online training aims to give you the confidence and skills to help someone who may be considering suicide.
UCL also have resources available through their Being Well webpage, because although the awareness day is just one day, the dialogue around suicide must continue.
Start a Conversation is a suicide prevention campaign that aims to build a community that is committed to the mental health and wellbeing of its residents. A non-judging environment where care and support is available to those in distress or those bereaved or affected by suicide. They have a programme of recorded events that you can watch and learn more about here.
Take 5 to Save Lives is organized by the National Council for Suicide Prevention. It's aim is for people to take five minutes out of their day to learn five vital actions related to suicide: ‘Learn the warning signs', 'Do your part', 'Practice self-care', 'Reach out', and 'Spread the word’. Find out more here.
Poem kindly sent to us from a South East London colleague who wishes to remain anonymous. We thank you for sharing.
I’m afraid to think about suicide.
It makes my chest tighten and my stomach sick
So I push the thoughts away.
But here comes suicide prevention day
And now there’s nowhere to run.
Maybe I’m scared to be suicidal again,
And to be reminded
Of all the thoughts about myself
The anger, the hate, the pain
I’m scared that just thinking about it
I will become it.
Maybe it forces me to face the darkest night
When I wrote my goodbye’s
My I love you’s
And my so so sorry’s
And becoming suicidal is not just painful
It brings along judgment.
I wished these were just words generated by my own overthinking
These were the words thrown around
When I heard that a teacher from my primary school
Took their own life.
And everyone kept saying
“but they looked so happy”
“they never said anything”
“if only they’d told me what they were going through”
But don’t you see?
These conversations have been reserved
For the therapy room
Or the GP’s office
And even then,
you can only say so much
If you can say anything at all
I say we take it to the streets
When you’re hangin’ out
When you have feelings to share
When your thoughts are screaming cruel lies to you
When things are too much
And you’re so so tired
Say what you really feel
Instead of the rehearsed lines you used to avoid the hospital ward
Say that it’s been such a hard time
Because it has been
But no one’s really talking
So let’s talk about it
Unpack it bit by bit
Like I just tried to do for myself
By writing whatever this is.
If you have been affected and require further support please follow the link here to return back to the top of the page.