World Suicide Prevention Day takes place on Friday, 10th September 2021. This years’ theme, set by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP ) is Creating Hope Through Action.
World Suicide Prevention Day takes place every year and aims to start the conversation about suicide and to show that recovery is possible.
IASP explains that “each and every suicide is devastating and has a profound impact on those around them,” but “by raising awareness, reducing the stigma around suicide and encouraging well-informed action, we can reduce instances of suicide around the world”.
This years’ theme is intended to be a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and that people’s actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling.
Reaching out during covid
The last two years have been difficult for many with the pandemic forcing many countries to lockdown to keep people safe. Lockdown led to many feeling isolated and alone. In many areas, there was a rise in neighbourhood communities coming together to help those in need and giving people hope.
In my neighbourhood, a few people got together to create a support group. They posted fliers through letterboxes with their phone numbers on them, letting people know that if they needed anything, shopping, someone to talk to, to just call. This was such a welcome gesture as you never know what people are suffering behind closed doors.
Looking out for each other was a thread that ran through the first lockdown and although this seemed to change with subsequent lockdowns, there wasn’t a huge increase in suicide deaths due to the pandemic which is a good sign.
Hope for the future
Hope is also the theme of the Roddenberry foundation’s Boldly Go campaign which launched on 8 September 2021 to honour Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. People around the world are being asked to submit photos and videos describing their hopes for the next 100 years. The goal is to pay homage to Star Trek’s message that we can work together to build a better future.
If you are struggling to cope, please call Samaritans for free on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email [email protected] or visit the Samaritans website to find details of the nearest branch. Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year, providing a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.