Suicide Prevention Week 2017 officially kicks off with World Suicide Prevention Day, Sunday, Sept. 10. The entire month of September has been designated Suicide Prevention Month, as well. The day, week, and month awareness efforts are to bring attention to a problem that knows no geographic or demographic boundaries. This year’s theme is “Take a Minute, Save Life,” and focuses on raising awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death on a global level.
Suicide has Widespread Effects
According to the American Association of Suicidology, suicide claims approximately over 800,000 lives worldwide each year, resulting in one suicide every 40 seconds. There are an estimated 10 to 20 suicide attempts per each completed suicide, resulting in several million suicide attempts each year.
Suicide and suicidal behavior affects individuals of all ages, genders, races and religions across the planet. Risk factors remain essentially the same from country to country. Mental illness, substance abuse, previous suicide attempts, hopelessness, access to lethal means, recent loss of loved ones, unemployment and vulnerability to self-harm are just few examples of risk factors.
How to Protect Yourself and Others from Suicide
Protective factors are also the same in all corners of the world. High self-esteem, social connectedness, problem-solving skills, supportive family and friends are all examples of factors that buffer against suicide and suicidal behaviors.
Things You Can Do to Help Bring Awareness:
- Share this information or other related Suicide Prevention materials on social media. Using the following tags will help build the movement: #BeThere #NSPW #WSPD17 #StopSuicide
- Compile stories of hope to share like Live through This and Man Therapy
- Ask your employer or school about training such as QPR, SafeTalk or ASIST. At U-M, the University Center for the Child and Family (UCCF) is working toward campus-wide suicide prevention from a clinical standpoint. As part of a three-year grant project, UCCF is offering a variety of workshop and training opportunities for professionals who work with those who may be at elevated risk of suicide. Contact UCCF@umich.edu for more information on upcoming opportunities.
- Research what events are happening in your community like the Out of Darkness Walks
- Share resources like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Textline
- Write a blog
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- The University Center for the Child and Family (for kids at risk under 18 years old) or The University Psychological Clinic (for adults 18 and over at risk)- NOTE: UCCF and Psych Clinic are not crisis response centers, so if you are experiencing an emergency situation, please call 911 or contact your nearest designated response center such as the University of Michigan Psychiatric Emergency Room or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 to find one close to you.
- American Association of Suicidology
- Washtenaw County Resources List (PDF)