Friday, September 4, 2015


September is National Suicide Awareness Month. September 7-13 is National Suicide Prevention Week. September 10, 2015 is World Suicide Prevention Day. These are some good dates to mark on your calendar, and some great dates for raising awareness.

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 800,000 deaths attributed to suicide around the world every year, and this is acknowledged to be a conservative estimate. That number may be much higher, with many suicides not reported as such due to the stigma usually attached. That is an absolutely horrible number, whether it is high, low, or in between, and it is well past time for the stigma to go away. Everyone has trouble. No one is immune. There is no justification for the stigma.

Please join the International Association for Suicide Prevention in raising awareness for this issue on World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, 2015. The theme for this year’s event is “Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives,” and this is all about reaching out to people in need, reaching out to people bereaved, and reaching out to the world at large. Make your voice heard, and make sure that everyone knows that no one is alone.

There is a list of activities and resources available at the IASP website as well as the IASP Facebook page, but there are two activities that I want to draw attention to, because they can be joined in on by anyone, anywhere.

Light a Candle

Everyone is encouraged to light a candle near a window at 8:00 pm on September 10 to show your support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost loved one, and for the survivors of suicide. You are also encouraged to use the image above to spread awareness of this event.

Cycle Around the Globe

The third annual Cycle Around the Globe event aims to collectively cycle the circumference of the globe, 40,075 km or 24,900 miles, and to have participants cycling on every continent. If you are into cycling, and will be cycling anyway (which I know is true for many of you), please consider signing up and participating. Also, again, you are encouraged to share the above image to help raise awareness.

If you didn’t notice, the goal here is to raise awareness. Make some noise, and let’s do what we can to bring down that horrible number. Reach out, and save lives.

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