WORLD Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) highlights this global epidemic TODAY – September 10.
We take a look at the day and what the campaign means.
What’s the campaign?
The campaign is a joint collaboration between the World Health Organisation, the World Federation for Mental Health and the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
It has been in place since 2003.
Around 40 countries hold events connected to the day.
This year sees the start of a theme called Working Together to Prevent Suicide, which will be retained for WSPD in 2019 and 2020.
The website states this theme was chosen as it “highlights the most essential ingredient for effective global suicide prevention – collaboration”.
It adds: “We all have a role to play and together we can collectively address the challenges presented
by suicidal behaviour in society today.”
What events are happening?
There are a number of events taking place in the UK including a remembrance event in Bradford for those who have lost loved ones to suicide.
Blackburn and Darwen Council will host a public vigil outside Blackburn town hall.
Brighton is hosting a awareness raising session called Real Talk on September 10 from 6.30pm-8pm.
And in London there is a screening of documentary Same Story by Matt Harmer, followed by a Q&A session.
The Bafta-nominated documentary Kingdom Of Us is being shown at at Everyman Cinema in Hampstead on September 11 at 7.30pm.
A festival of life and death took place in Bournemouth on September 8.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost – to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes. And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet, it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun today launches the You’re Not Alone campaign. To remind anyone facing a tough time, grappling with mental illness or feeling like there’s nowhere left to turn, that there is hope.
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, over the course of this week, we will tell you the stories of brave survivors, relatives left behind, heroic Good Samaritans – and share tips from mental health experts.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others.
You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
Who are the Samaritans?
The Samaritans is a registered charity that was formed in 1953 and provides emotional support to anyone in distress, not just if they are feeling suicidal.
A Church of England vicar Chad Varah founded the movement after placing an advert in a newspaper encouraging people to volunteer at his church, listening to people contemplating suicide.
There are now 201 branches in the UK and Ireland and it does not recognise sectarian or political divisions.
It now has around 21,200 trained volunteers.
In 2004 Varah broke with the charity, saying it was no longer the organisation he had founded.
The charity’s core work is through its telephone helpline which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In 2015 it launched a free phone number 116 123.
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What does the yellow and orange ribbon mean?
The two-toned ribbon promotes suicide prevention awareness around the world.
The colours of yellow and orange are meant to be indicative of a candle flame, which ties in with the campaign’s light a flame.
People are asked to light a candle at 8pm on the day to show support for the event.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123, or visit Mind’s website.