World Suicide Prevention Day 2021: Creating Hope Through Action

September 10, 2021

Matthew Simons

World Suicide Prevention Day provides us with an opportunity to create change around alarming suicide rates, both globally and in our own communities. With a hope of one day, working together towards a world without suicide.

Since 2003, and falling every year on the 10th of September, World Suicide Prevention Day has given people and communities across the globe the opportunity to participate in a worldwide movement committed to preventing suicide. The International Association for Suicide Prevention works alongside the World Health Organisation to make the event possible.

One of the issues that this event is attempting to combat is the well-documented stigma around suicide and mental health. Unfortunately, this stigma, particularly for males, can make them reluctant to talk about negative feelings and to reach out for help when it’s needed most.

In Australia, death by suicide is twice the national road toll, and we’re all, in one way or another, touched by it. The shocking statistic is that suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15-45, and the second-leading cause of death among those aged 45-54. (www.aihw.gov.au; Leading Causes of Death)
(See ADA’s The Little Blue Book of MENTAL HEALTH pp. 110)

The fact, of course, is that suicide always leaves pain – the loss of so many promising lives, always leaves loved ones, colleagues and friends bewildered in its wake. 

Its causes are many, but so commonly bound to depression and anxiety. These dark and disabling mental disorders, and the accompanying feelings of helplessness and sadness can propel sufferers to dangerous thoughts of there “being no other way out”.
(See ADA’s The Little Blue Book of MENTAL HEALTH pp. 110)

But there is always “a way”, and connection, intervention, treatment, and the support of family, friends, loved ones and work colleagues can help a person who may be struggling back to good health and enjoyment of life. 

Of course, none of us is bulletproof. That is why it is so important to be aware of your own mental health and to reach for help when needed. If carrying troubling thoughts, please do call your GP or health professional; start by saying, “Hey doc, I’m feeling a little out of whack…”, and they’ll know what to say next. 

It is also important to ‘notice’ how your mates are travelling. And if you have any concerns – if they’ve been drinking a lot more than usual, seem distant and disconnected or isolating themselves – ask them, “Hey, you seem pretty down mate, want to have a chat…?”.  

In this, we all have a part to play in being aware of the problem, in keeping connected with others who may be showing signs of struggle, and in protecting our own mental health. 

If you’d like to learn more about the 2021 campaign and how you can get involved, visit the World Suicide Prevention Day website at: https://www.iasp.info/wspd2021/


If this information raised any concerns for you, please do speak to your GP, they can help you back to good health, or call a helpline: LIFELINE 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue 1300 22 4636.

Or refer to ADA’s The Little Blue Book of MENTAL HEALTH pp. 110-117 to learn more about suicide and how to “start the conversation” if someone you care about needs a helping hand.

Article by
Matthew Simons