Creating Hope Through Action – World Suicide Prevention Day
Today, September 10th, is the 19th World Suicide Prevention Day. The EPSI team wanted to highlight this important day, whose theme this year is “Creating Hope Through Action”.
According to the Association québécoise de prévention du Suicide (AQPS), there is now an average of 1 million suicides worldwide each year. Every day in Quebec, there are three (3) suicides. According to the Collectif pour une stratégie nationale en prévention du suicide, this is the same number of victims as 40 years ago. Suicide attempts are more difficult to count. However, the number of hospitalizations for suicide attempts is also very high in Quebec, as reported by the AQPS. This rate has increased in the last ten years. The report from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec indicates that in our province, suicide represented 1.7% of all deaths for the years 2015-2017. This proportion was higher for men (2.6%) than for women (0.9%).
These data demonstrate the seriousness of the problem. It is a complex subject on which there are many beliefs, but in reality, suicide means suffering, pain, despair and loss of bearings. It is important to remember that this act creates a permanent and irreparable loss for the suicidal person, their loved ones and society. In addition to upsetting families and communities, it has major social and economic costs. Therefore, it is essential to support the intervention workers and key players who courageously contribute to prevention and intervention.
In order to prevent suicide, each member of society must be attentive and alert to ensure that the most vulnerable are protected. We must be vigilant in order to recognize the signs or indications of distress. It is also important to make the general public aware of the extent of the problem in order to work together to have a positive impact.
Strategies will be needed to prevent the consequences that may occur after the pandemic. Negative impacts will depend on many factors including support for members of society and our collective ability to generate support.
Suicide prevention has been shown to have many direct and indirect impacts such as the establishment of support programs, better management of psychological distress, lower rates, etc.
This year’s theme aims to give people the confidence to actively engage in prevention. To reduce deaths caused by suicide, we need to create a movement of collective action. Together we will make a difference.
If, like our team, you wish to use this day to show your support, you can visit the website of the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide, which offers simple and varied actions that are accessible to families, groups of friends, work colleagues, intervention workers, citizens, etc. The AQPS invites us to join them in marking this world day. You can also refer to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention’s website which offers materials, resources and a virtual event that will include presentations by a group of panelists.