September 10, 2009 is World Suicide Prevention Day
The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is sponsoring “Light a Candle on World Suicide Prevention Day at 8 PM” to help raise awareness of the magnitude of the problem.
Suicide is a leading cause of death for people worldwide, and one of the three leading causes of death for young people under 25. Every year, approximately one million people die by suicide – one death every two minutes. The World Health Organization estimates that by the year 2020, this annual toll of suicide deaths will have risen to one and half million, and suicide will represent 2.4% of the global burden of disease.
Suicide deaths account for more than half of all violent deaths in the world – more than all deaths from wars and homicides combined. Every year many millions more people make serious suicide attempts which while, they do not result in death, require medical treatment and mental health care, and reflect severe personal unhappiness or illness. Millions more people – the family members and close friends of those who die by suicide – are bereaved and affected by suicide each year, with the impact of this loss often lasting for a lifetime.
Suicide exacts huge psychological and social costs, and the economic costs of suicide to society (lost productivity, health and social care costs) are estimated at many billions of dollars each year. Because almost a quarter of suicides are teenagers and young adults aged less than 25 (250 000 suicides each year), suicide is a leading cause of premature death, accounting for more than 20 million years of healthy life lost.
Here are a list of World Suicide Prevention Day activities happening globally. Nothing near you? You can take part wherever you are!