Dear Annie: On Sept. 10, people throughout the world will be observing World Suicide Prevention Day, an annual event co-sponsored by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Approximately one million people worldwide die by suicide each year. The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.
The economic costs associated with self-inflicted death or injuries are estimated to be in the billions of dollars a year. The psychological and social impact of suicide on the family and community is staggering.
There is good news, though. Organizations across the globe such as ours are making advances in suicide prevention research, understanding and outreach. Despite the complexity of this phenomenon, suicide can be prevented. There are many crisis centers throughout the world that offer support by phone, email, forums and chat.
Suicide prevention organizations, locally and across the world, are joining IASP in encouraging people to “light a candle near a window at 8 p.m.” on World Suicide Prevention Day to show support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost loved one and for the survivors of suicide.
Please ask your readers for their kind support in lighting a candle and, if they are in distress, to call a helpline or crisis center. This information can be found on our website at www.iasp.info. Thank you. – Lanny Berman, Ph.D., ABPP, President, IASP
Dear Mr. Berman: We appreciate the opportunity to tell our readers about World Suicide Prevention Day. We hope they will light a candle near a window and remember those who have died. We also hope those in need will check your website.