World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
World Mental Health Day 2019: focus on suicide prevention
Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide.
Join us, on 10 October, in “40 seconds of action” to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it.
Is someone you care about suicidal?
Every 40 seconds, a person dies by suicide, and 20 times as many make an attempt. Suicide is caused by an assortment of social, psychological, cultural and genetic factors. It’s a leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24 in North America and in many European countries.
Signs of suicidal ideation
It can be difficult to gauge whether or not someone is suicidal. Nevertheless, here are some signs to watch out for:
• Excessive sadness, anger, anxiety or moodiness
• Changes in personality
• Changes in appearance
• Withdrawal from friends and family members
• Withdrawal from activities once enjoyed
• Substance abuse
• Reckless/dangerous behaviours
• Threatening suicide (every threat should be taken seriously)
In addition, a sudden calmness after a period of distress or turmoil can sometimes indicate the person has decided to end their own life. In such cases, the individual may make preparations by giving away possessions, visiting loved ones and cleaning their home.
How to help someone who’s suicidal
How to help someone
If you suspect that a friend or loved one is suicidal, talk to them to assess what their intentions are. Research shows that talking about suicide doesn’t increase the likelihood that someone will take their own life. In fact, connecting with someone that cares can make all the difference.
If the person you’re concerned about threatens to kill him or herself, take it seriously. Don’t leave the individual alone and ensure they get the support they need. If the risk is immediate, call 911.