World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) was established in 2003 in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is a significant advocacy and communication based event aimed at reaching national organisations, governments and the general public, giving a singular message that suicide can be prevented.
WSPD is considered an effective tool in these efforts and the WHO Report:Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative (WHO, 2014) marks it as a policy achievement.
World Suicide Prevention Day is a time for the community to join together to focus on the needs of people at risk of suicide, suicide attempt survivors and people bereaved by suicide. Through diverse activities, we can help promote an understanding of suicide and highlight effective prevention activities.
It is an opportunity for all sectors of the community – the public, charitable organisations, communities, researchers, clinicians, practitioners, politicians and policy makers, volunteers, those bereaved by suicide, those with lived experience and other interested groups and individuals to join with the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
Examples of diverse activities to promote understanding about suicide and highlight effective prevention activities. which can support World Suicide Prevention Day include:
1. Launching new initiatives, policies and strategies on World Suicide Prevention Day. Holding conferences, open days, educational seminars or public lectures and panels.
2. Writing articles for national, regional and community newspapers, blogs and magazines.
3. Organising memorial services, events, candlelight ceremonies or walks to remember those who have died by suicide.
4. Tasking national politicians with responsibility for health, public health, mental health or suicide prevention to make relevant announcements, release policies or make supportive statements or press releases on WSPD.
5. Holding depression awareness events in public places and offering screening for depression.
6. Organising cultural or spiritual events, fairs or exhibitions. Organising walks to political or public places to highlight suicide prevention.