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World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10. This year the day is particularly important because WHO has released its report, ‘Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative‘, the most comprehensive and up-to-date report on suicide prevention internationally. The report gives proof to the idea that a person who feels connected to the world through family, friends, religion and society is less likely to commit suicide than someone who feels isolated and alone. Thus the theme for this year is ‘Suicide Prevention: One World Connected.’

Suicide doesn’t discriminate between age, gender, race, religion or class. It can happen to anyone and affects everyone who is connected to the person. The biggest risk for suicide is depression. Depression isolates the person in layers of pain and despair. It severs all connections with loved ones and the world. It speaks of death as the only relief from the intense pain and anguish. Suicide Prevention Day reminds us of our loved ones who committed suicide and urges us to talk about suicide so that others might be saved.

According to global stats, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. It’s been estimated that one person commits suicide every 13.3 minutes. There are three female suicide attempts for every male attempt. Male suicide attempts are usually successful because they involve the use of firearms or hanging. The rate of suicide increase in spring and there are several theories as to why this is the case. The elderly suicide rate is highest for those who are divorced or widowed. At the other side of the age spectrum, suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people 15-24 years old.

Many who attempt suicide never seek professional help. About 75% visit a physician a month before committing suicide. Often these people complain to their doctor about other health issues that may or may not be related to depression. People who attempt suicide will debate whether to live or die right up to the final second of the act. Sometimes the method chosen is so brutal and instant it kills the person who has decided at the last second to live.

80% of those who seek treatment for depression are treated successfully. Research has shown that medications and therapy are the most effective tools of suicide prevention. People who are religious also tend to be less suicidal because of their religious beliefs. Treating depression and making the person feel connected to others reduces the risk for suicide. Suicide can be prevented through education and public awareness. Help lines and suicide prevention organizations deal with thousands of suicidal people every year.

For more information about Suicide Prevention Day and what you can do to help promote the event, please visit the official website of the International Association for Suicide Prevention at http://www.iasp.info/wspd/

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