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Create Hope Through Action this World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10

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Create Hope Through Action this World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10

By 10th September 2023No Comments

Today, Sunday, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day.

This global public awareness campaign was established 20 years ago in 2003 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention in conjunction with the World Health Organisation with the aim of focusing attention on the issue, reducing stigma and raising awareness among organizations, governments, and the public, giving a singular message that suicides are preventable.

The World Health Organisation website notes:

“Suicide is a major public health problem with far-reaching social, emotional and economic consequences. It is estimated that there are currently more than 700 000 suicides per year worldwide, and we know that each suicide profoundly affects many more people.”

This is the third and final year of the current prevailing theme of World Suicide Prevention Day which is “Creating Hope Through Action” which highlights the fact that there is an alternative to suicide and that through our actions we can encourage hope and strengthen prevention.

In Ireland, this important theme is reflected in our national strategy to reduce suicide, Connecting for Life.

The HSE website notes that World Suicide Prevention Day is a time when “we can spread a message of hope to others. Even though suicide is a very complex issue, we can always look out for others who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts, and provide support. This helps to create a more caring society where those who need to feel more comfortable in seeking help.

It lists the following examples of actions that can help to create hope this World Suicide Prevention Day.

Reach in

“Reach in to someone you know who might be having difficulties. Find a comfortable space and time to sit and be present with them. Use open questions and tell them you care about them. You don’t need to have all the answers, so try not to feel pressured. If they share things with you, listen – stay calm, be patient and kind.

“Remember that bringing up the topic of suicide with someone will not make suicide more likely. It can be really helpful for a person just to have a safe space to open up, know that they are heard and that they are not alone at a difficult time.

Reach out

“Reach Out. If you are feeling particularly low, sad or hopeless, always remember that sharing things with someone else will help. Reaching out to talk with someone – someone close or even a support organisation – might initially feel frightening.

“Even if you can’t find the right words, when you take that first step and start to share and talk about what’s going on for you, things can become clearer. The right words will come, and you will start to feel more hopeful.

Be the Light

“Be the Light. Connect with a support or community organisation. Volunteer, help spread their messages and become involved in activities that promote positive mental health and wellbeing or suicide prevention in your community.

“Always think about the person and what they might be going through when talking about suicide. Remain compassionate and be respectful of the lives that have been lost, or others who have been bereaved. Remember that people can — and do — get through times of crisis, and that a positive message of recovery, can be protective and hopeful for others to hear.

Words Matter

“The topic of suicide should always be approached with care and compassion. It is important to use sensitive and non-stigmatising language when engaging in a conversation, talking or writing about suicide. Using language and words that are helpful and respectful, will encourage open and safe conversations about suicide, and its prevention. They can help to create environments that are free of stigma, judgment or prejudice.

“Always avoid using the term ‘commit suicide’ – this can imply a sin, criminal offence or act, and therefore can be stigmatising – of the person who has died, or of people who have been bereaved. In general, use neutral and simple terms such as ‘died by suicide’, ‘die by suicide’ or ‘death by suicide’.

Increase your awareness

“Increase your awareness. If someone tells you that they are having thoughts of suicide, try to stay calm and don’t be afraid. Be reassured there are always helpful things you can do and there are training programmes that can help prepare you. Free suicide prevention and awareness programmes are available from the HSE.

“These can build your confidence, help you recognise people who might be at risk of suicide, ask them about suicide, and connect them with helpful supports and services. For example:

  • LivingWorks Start, a 90 minute online programme
  • safeTALK, a half day face-to-face programme
  • Visit for more information

Support is always available

“Get to know what mental health supports and services are available, and tell more people about them. Speak with a GP about what might be available locally. Tell your family, your friends, your colleagues – you never know when someone might need them. Many are open 24/7 and you can make contact in different ways, for example:

“You can also call the HSE YourMentalHealth Information Line, anytime day or night, for information on mental health, and what other services and supports are available near you – freephone 1800 111 888 or visit

For more information on suicide prevention supports and services please click HERE.
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