What is World Suicide Prevention Day?

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) was established in 2003 in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO) aimed at reaching national organisations, governments and the general public, giving a singular message that suicide can be prevented.

WSPD continues to grow year on year, with recent years seeing the day observed in more than 60 countries with hundreds of events ranging from educational and commemorative events to press briefings and public conferences.

The latest provisional data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports there was a very slight decrease in deaths by suicide in England in 2020, however, the data reported in this release cannot be used to show the official number of suicides with a date of death in 2020/2021 due to the length of time it takes to hold an inquest, most deaths are registered at least five to six months after they occurred.

Impact of the pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic has been experienced differently by everyone, factors such as; your employment, your social network of friends and family, your financial situation and your environment has meant many people have struggled greatly with their mental health and wellbeing. In the year since social distancing restrictions began, the Samaritans answered over half a million emails – a 23% increase compared to the previous year, with 12% more calls at night with the Coronavirus impact cited as the main reason.

The Samaritans

The Samaritans collaborate with over 70 different suicide prevention and mental health organisations every year as part of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA).

They encourage governments in the United Kingdom and Ireland to make suicide prevention a top priority and to help raise awareness about how we can better support one another.

You can call the Samaritans 24/7 confidentially and for free on 116 123

Creating Hope Through Action

The theme for this year is ‘Creating Hope Through Action,’ which aims to inspire individuals with the confidence to engage with the complexity of ‘hope.’ It will be the theme until 2023.

On September 10th for World Suicide Prevention Day the Samaritans will be asking people to share the things that they do which helps them feel hopeful when they’re going through a difficult time. For example:

  • Reaching out for a coffee with my best mate
  • Taking a walk in the fields and letting the wind blow everything away
  • Go for a run along the seafront

Small Talk Saves Lives

You have all the experience you need to help save a life

If you feel something isn’t quite right and you think someone might need help, trust your instincts and start a conversation. You could save a life.