September 10 Is World Suicide Prevention Day

Today, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day. Prevention initiatives, awareness campaigns, and remembrance events are being held in many nations across the globe, including the United States. According to the World Health Organization, around 1 million people die each year because of suicide, making it one of the leading preventable causes of death. For each death, there are another 19 suicide attempts. Despite efforts to increase suicide awareness and prevention, the affliction has been on a consistent rise; global rates have jumped by 60% since 1965.

In the United States, suicide is on the rise for the first time in years, with middle aged women the fastest growing group. And for the first time since the military began keeping records (during the Vietnam War), military suicide rates have surpassed civilian suicide rates. To that end, psychotherapy and mental health support services for active troops and veterans are key to suicide prevention in the United States. Military mental health is one of the top priorities of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, whose founding leadership was announced today by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is also promoting messages of awareness and prevention. We may not understand a loved one’s urges to take their own life, “but we can all challenge ourselves to become better listeners so that we can be there for each other when we’re seeing things from somewhere far from center,” writes Michael Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of NAMI. Recognizing signs of depression, and being especially aware of people in at-risk groups (veterans, the unemployed, young adults, and people with a history of depression, to name a few) are essential to getting people out of a dangerous frame of mind and into therapy and support groups. Suicide may not ever be entirely eradicated, but promoting awareness and creating environments where it is safe to voice tough feelings are two giant steps in the right direction.

© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Wilson


    September 11th, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    Global rates have jumped 60% since 1965?!!!

    Compare the present day situation to the one in 1965…we now have more money, more convenience, more entertainment and more venues for anything and everything. Yet to have suicide rates only heading northwards means there is something wrong with the routine of life we live and the way things are run in the global context. We need to buckle up or we will soon be losing people to suicide than we are reproducing!

  • Karie


    September 12th, 2010 at 6:14 AM

    What is up that has caused these numbers to increase at such an alarmingly fast rate? I am shocked that with an issue like this there is not more news about it because this is serious! It is like this is an issue that no one wants to talk about and feels the need to shove under the rug and that is so sad when you consider how often this has to hit home for so many families and friends. I know that in some way or another we have all been touched by the suicide of a friend or a loved one, or know someone who has had to face thsi. Now seems like the perfect time to up the awareness on the issue and start taking this awareness and prevention to a whole new level.

  • Jake.S


    September 12th, 2010 at 7:30 AM

    what a waste of life…that’s all that one can say after reading the stats and how it is the biggest preventive reason for people’s death.

    I believe there are a lot of therapy centres where people with suicidal tendencies are treated and counseled. I appeal all such centres to just make such people meet and interact with others who are going to die due to a disease or something and show them how much the other person is yearning to live. This may just awaken them, if nothing more.

  • craig


    September 12th, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    jake,that’s a very good idea you have there.whenever i hear about people commiting suicide,i just ask myself why is it that some people wish they could live longer even when they are already old and some others put an abrupt end to theirs.

  • Minson


    September 13th, 2010 at 4:43 AM

    its not for nothing that people want to end their lives…you’ll have to get out of your comfortable lives to realize that…its very easy to just say-why did he want to end his own life, but believe me, nobody would do that unless he has problems that are so bad that he is actually compelled to take the decision…



    September 13th, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Minson I do not think that is the outlook you need to have in life. If a person has problems, ‘he’ should try and seek help, probably get a counselor to listen to his problems and see if they can find a solution to it together.

  • Johnna


    September 13th, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Glad that this day did not go unrecognized nor did it go unnoticed. From those of us who have had to face this issue at different points in our lives, I say a heartfelt thank you. It is nice to know that the pain of our loved ones is being recognized but in a way that helps us to further understand their inner beauty and how we can learn to celebrate their lives instead of just mourn.

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