World Suicide Prevention Day 2011

By The International Association For Suicide Prevention iasp, PRNE
Friday, September 9, 2011

HONG KONG, September 10, 2011 -

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization are co-sponsoring World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th. Events are being held on every continent.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) co-sponsor World Suicide Prevention Day every year on September 10th. This year’s observances will include: an education seminar, in Bangalore, India; an Inuit Celebration of life ceremony on Parliament Hill, Canada; workshops for volunteers in Malaysia; countless walks in Australia and America; and thousands of lanterns being released in Ireland.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about one million people die by suicide every year; this represents a “global” mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds, or about 3,000 deaths by suicide daily. For every person who dies by suicide, 20 or more attempt to end their lives.

IASP President, Dr. Lanny Berman, states, “On World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, 2011, the theme “Preventing Suicide in Multicultural Societies” will be embraced. As we develop and implement national and local suicide intervention strategies we need to be aware of cultural factors that can impact on suicidal behaviour in diverse settings.”

Dr. Berman continues, “We have seen positive outcomes from our tailored approaches to suicide prevention. For example, the restriction of the sale of charcoal in supermarket chains in Hong Kong has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of suicides by poisoning from charcoal burning, and a concerted community response to suicide prevention at a district level shows a positive impact on rates of deliberate self-harm and suicide.”

“In addition,” he states, “We now have good evidence that suicide rates are reduced substantially when leaders make preventing suicide a central focus for their entire systems, such as in the US Air Force. We also know that significant reductions in rates of suicide and suicide attempts have been found when programs aimed at improving recognition and care of depression are implemented.”

“In Australia, stricter firearm legislation coincided with a significant reduction in the number of firearm suicides, and, in England, restricted access through altered packaging of over-the-counter- medicines resulted in a reduction in the number of deaths by intentional overdose.”

“These few examples demonstrate that if we take into account cultural elements, we can make great strides in the advancement of suicide prevention, understanding and practice.”

The IASP expects that this year’s activities will be held in over 40 countries around the world. In addition, the organization has prepared World Suicide Prevention Day banners in more than 40 languages which bloggers can use to increase suicide prevention awareness locally and globally in their own language.

IASP is encouraging people to light a candle, near a window, at 8 PM, on September 10th, to show their support for suicide prevention, to remember a loved one lost to suicide, and for those bereaved by suicide.

A list of suggested activities is available on the IASP’s World Suicide Prevention Day page.

IASP - World Suicide Prevention Day

For press information, please contact:
President - Dr. Lanny Berman (USA)
Cell: +1-301-661-5095

Dr Anthony Davis (Australia)
Cell: +61402247096

Prof Paul Yip (Hong Kong)
Cell: +85222415017

Dr Ella Arensman (Europe)
Cell: +353870522284

Prof Michael Phillips (China)
Cell: +8618917192966

Organizational info - Mrs Vanda Scott
Cell: +447824995567


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