World Suicide Prevention Day

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World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is an awareness day observed on 10 September every year, in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world.[1] The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health, to host World Suicide Prevention Day.[2] In 2011 an estimated 40 countries held awareness events to mark the occasion.[3] The United Nations issued 'National Policy for Suicide Prevention' in the 1990s which some countries use as a basis for their suicide policies.[4]

Suicide has a number of complex and interrelated and underlying contributing factors ... that can contribute to the feelings of pain and hopelessness. Having access to means to kill oneself – most typically firearms, medicines and poisons – is also a risk factor.[1]

— Campaign release


As of 2011, an estimated one million people per year die by suicide or "a death every 40 seconds or about 3,000 every day."[3] According to WHO there are twenty people who have a failed suicide attempt for every one that is successful, at a rate approximately one every three seconds.[5][6] Suicide is the "most common cause of death for people aged 15 – 24."[7] More people die from suicide than from murder and war; it is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide.[1][8] According to WHO, suicide accounts for nearly half of all violent deaths in the world.[6] Brian Mishara, IASP president, noted that, "more people kill themselves than die in all wars, terrorist acts and interpersonal violence combined."[9] The number of people who die by suicide is expected to reach 1.5 million per year by 2020.[8]

The UN noted that suicide bombers' deaths are seen as secondary to their goal of killing other people or specific targets and the bombers are not otherwise typical of people committing suicide.[4]

One way where individuals raise awareness on World Suicide Prevention Day


According to a WHO press release, one third of worldwide suicides were committed with pesticides, "some of which were forbidden by United Nations (UN) conventions."[4] WHO urges Asian countries to restrict pesticides that are commonly used in failed attempts, especially organophosphate-based pesticides that are banned by international conventions but still made in and exported by some Asian countries.[10] From 1996–2006 pesticide ingestion accounted for an estimated 60–90 percent of suicides in China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad.[10] WHO reports an increase in pesticide suicides in other Asian countries as well as Central and South America.[10] It is estimated that such painful failed attempts could be reduced by legalizing controlled voluntary euthanasia options, as implemented in Switzerland.

Country information[edit]

Of the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of developed countries that uses market economy to improve the Human Development Index, South Korea had the highest suicide rate.[11] In 2011 South Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare enacted legislation coinciding with WSPD to address the high rate.[11]

In some countries, such as China, young people 15–34 years old are more likely to die by suicide than by any other means.[12]

According to WHO, in 2009 the four countries with the highest rates of suicide were all in Eastern Europe; Slovenia had the fourth highest rate preceded by Russia, Latvia, and Belarus.[13] This stays within findings from the start of the WSPD event in 2003 when the highest rates were also found in Eastern European countries.[14] The countries with the lowest rates tend to be in Latin America, "Muslim countries and a few Asian countries."[14] There is a lack of information from most African countries.[14]


With the exception of China, men commit suicide more often than women. In the Western world, males die three to four times more often by means of suicide than females do.[15]


  • 2003 – "Suicide Can Be Prevented!"[14]
  • 2004 – "Saving Lives, Restoring Hope"[16]
  • 2005 – "Prevention of Suicide is Everybody's Business"[17]
  • 2006 – "With Understanding New Hope"[9]
  • 2007 – "Suicide prevention across the Life Span"[18]
  • 2008 – "Think Globally, Plan Nationally, Act Locally"[19]
  • 2009 – "Suicide Prevention in Different Cultures"[7]
  • 2010 – "Families, Community Systems and Suicide"[20]
  • 2011 – "Preventing Suicide in Multicultural Societies"[3]
  • 2012 – "Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope"[21]
  • 2013 – "Stigma: A Major Barrier to Suicide Prevention"
  • 2014 – "Light a candle near a Window"
  • 2015 – "Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives"
  • 2016 – "Connect, Communicate, Care"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Alaska Observes World Suicide Prevention Day and Alaska Suicide Prevention Month". SitNews. 11 September 2004. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Suicide in the U.S.A. Based on Current (2007) Statistics" (PDF). American Association of Suicidology. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c QMI Agency (10 September 2011). "Inuit youth celebrate life on World Suicide Day". London Free Press. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Press Conference by World Health Organization on Suicide Prevention" (Press Conference). United Nations Department of Public Information. 8 September 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Melnick, Meredith (10 September 2010). "It's World Suicide Prevention Day: What You Can Do to Help". Time. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Suicide every 40 seconds". Daily Mail. 7 September 2005. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Fierheller, Lorel (2009). "Suicide Prevention Day coming up". The Beausejour Review. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "World Suicide Prevention Day is marked". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 10 September 2004. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "World Suicide Prevention Day" (Press release). Scoop Independent News. 8 September 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c "Restrict pesticides to reduce suicides: WHO". CBC News. 9 November 2006. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Choi, Jung-yoon (8 September 2011). "South Korea to step up suicide prevention efforts: In 2009, 15,413 people took their lives, a rate that is three times higher than two decades ago. Officials plan to boost suicide prevention funding and install surveillance devices at key sites.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Reynolds, James (10 September 2008). "Chinese youth 'face suicide risk'". BBC News, Beijing. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "News Roundup: Ljubljana". Slovenska Tiskovna Agencija. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Celebrating the 1st World Suicide Prevention Day 10 September 2003". Press Release. International Association for Suicide Prevention. Retrieved 12 June 2012.  adapted from the chapter on "Self-Directed Violence" from the World Report on Violence and Health, World Health Organization, Geneva, 2002.
  15. ^ Country reports and charts available, World Health Organization. Retrieved March 16, 2008.
  16. ^ "World Suicide Prevention Day – 10 September 2004". Press archive. International Association for Suicide Prevention. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  17. ^ "World Suicide Prevention Day – 10 September 2005". Press archive. International Association for Suicide Prevention. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "UN marks World Suicide Prevention Day". Mathaba News. 11 September 2007. 
  19. ^ "World Suicide Prevention Day – 10 September 2008". Event archive. International Association for Suicide Prevention. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  20. ^ "Crist Signs Proclamation Recognizing National Suicide Prevention Week in Florida: Several communities and organizations around the state and country are holding events this week to raise awareness and increase education on the issue.". WCTV. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  21. ^ "World Suicide Prevention Day – 10 September 2012". Press archive. International Association for Suicide Prevention. Retrieved 12 June 2012.  (After event the website will update and move 2012 information to a new subpage.)

External links[edit]