Thursday, October 10th is World Mental Health Day, which is observed to raise awareness of global mental health issues. The day of awareness is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). This year’s World Mental Health Day focus is on suicide prevention.
On average, someone losses their life every 40 seconds to suicide, which is why the theme this year is “Working together to prevent suicide: A day for 40 seconds of action”. The World Federation for Mental Health suggests several ideas for action:
- If you are struggling, take 40 seconds to kickstart a conversation with someone you trust about how you are feeling.
- If you know someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, take 40 seconds to start a conversation and ask them how they are doing.
- If you work in media, highlight the 40-second statistic in interviews, articles and blogposts.
- If you work in the arts or on digital platforms, interrupt your production or broadcast to transmit a 40-second message about mental health or preventing suicide.
- If you are an employer or manager, take 40 seconds to formulate a positive message of support to your employees about resources available to them in the workplace or local community in times of mental distress.
- If you want your leaders to hear your request for action, record a 40-second audio clip or video telling them the action you want them to take on suicide prevention and mental health.
- If you have a platform for communicating with a large audience (social media, television, radio), provide 40-second slots for sharing mental health stories and messages.
- If you hold political office, communicate publicly about action you are taking to promote mental health and prevent suicide, highlighting the 40-second statistic
Suicide affects people of all age groups in all countries and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds.
If you are currently confronting thoughts of suicide, please contact the Calgary Distress Centre Crisis Line at 403-266-4357, or reach out to someone you trust.