World Mental Health Day – 10 October 2019

Each year on 10th October we recognise World Mental Health Day, when countries unite to improve the mental health of people around the world. The theme selected for this year’s day is Suicide Prevention.

Raising awareness of the scale of suicide around the world and how to prevent it was launched on 10 September, on World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th September

A few things to think about:

  • Every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide
  • 800,000 people die due to suicide every year
  • 79% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries. Suicide knows no national boundaries: it is a serious public health problem in high-income countries, and even more in low- and middle-income countries where nearly 80% of suicides occur.
  • Adolescents and young adults are highly vulnerable. Suicides among young people account for nearly a third of all suicides globally, and suicide is the second leading cause of death in the 15 to 29 year age group
  • Suicide rates can be highest in people over the age of 70 years; men are about twice as likely as women to die by suicide
  • For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.

On this year’s World Mental Health Day, we are encouraged to prepare to take “40 seconds of action” on 10 October to help us:

  • Improve awareness of the significance of suicide as a global public health problem
  • Improve knowledge of what can be done to prevent suicide
  • Reduce the stigma associated with suicide
  • Let people who are struggling know that they are not alone
  • Show we care

We can all play our part in whatever way makes most sense; visit the World Health Organization and the World Federation for Mental Health websites to see what you can do as an individual or as a club.

Rita Beaumont
APD Food Security and Healthcare