(Photo Credits: International Association for Suicide Prevention [IASP])
Today—September 10, 2021—is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), guys.
Every year on this day since the year 2003, the world observes WSPD. It is an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH).
The purpose of World Suicide Prevention Day is to raise awareness about suicide, to educate people on how to prevent suicide with the reduction of the global number of suicides and suicide attempts as the end goal. But it’s not just today, the entire month is dedicated to the cause and September is actually called Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
“The prevalence of suicide deaths in the U.S. is astonishing. During National Suicide Prevention Week & Suicide Awareness Month in September, help spread the facts about suicide and #educate others.” #suicideawarness #suicidepreventionmonth pic.twitter.com/jpoGGlbHFK— Will Saunders (@willboywonder) September 7, 2021
According to IASP, this year’s theme is ‘Creating Hope Through Action.’ They explained that the theme is a:
<blockquote>reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and aims to inspire confidence and light in all of us; that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling. Preventing suicide is often possible and you are a key player in its prevention. Through action, you can make a difference to someone in their darkest moments – as a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbour. We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide.</blockquote><br>
Lil Nas X Named Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year
Meanwhile, The Trevor Project has named Grammy Award-winning artist Lil Nas X as their very first Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Awardee. The Trevor Project by the way, is an American nonprofit organization that has been providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people.
According to The Trevor Project, Lil Nas X “has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to supporting The Trevor Project’s mission to end suicide among LGBTQ young people with his openness about struggling with his sexuality and suicidal ideation, his continued advocacy around mental health issues, and his unapologetic celebration of his queer identity.”
Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director at The Trevor Project, said in a statement:
The Trevor Project is thrilled to honor Lil Nas X with the Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award. His vulnerability in his journey to self-acceptance and expression has created space for candid conversations around mental health and sexual identity, signaling to LGBTQ youth that they are not alone. The Trevor Project’s research shows that over 80% of LGBTQ youth say that LGBTQ celebrities positively influence how they feel about being LGBTQ, further affirming the cultural impact of Lil Nas X being proud of who he is and an ideal recipient of this inaugural award.
On the other hand, Lil Nas X said when he accepted the award:
Thank you so much to The Trevor Project for this award and for all they do for the LGBTQ community. Discrimination around sexuality and gender identity is still very real, and our community deserves to feel supported and totally free to be themselves. I often get messages from fans telling me about their struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, and it made me realize that this was something bigger than myself. If using my voice and expressing myself in my music can help even one kid out there who feels alone, then it was all worth it.
According to NAMI:
- Men accounted for 78% of suicides.
- In the U.S., lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are “4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.”
- In the U.S., transgender adults are “nearly 12x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.”
- 46.8% of lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students in the U.S. have serious thoughts of suicide.
- For more information, read the article in full here.
Of course, it is very important for us to be aware about the warning signs and risk factors of suicide, that we know how to navigate mental health among many others. This is why the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has prepared the following resources for us:
- The Warning Signs and Risk Factors of Suicide
- How to be Prepared for a Crisis
- How to Navigate a Mental Health Crisis
- You can contact the NAMI HelpLine for more information, referrals, or support.
Where to Get Help
If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. You may also click here or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for more resources.
The suicide action phone numbers for other countries are:
US – Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860 Available 24/7
For the LGBT youth under 24, call TrevorLifeline—a crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386
TrevorChat: Phone hotline (1-866-4-U-TREVOR), or text (available on Fridays 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET – text the word “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200).
TrevorChat is available from 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm ET daily. Click this Time zone converter.
Canada – Trans Lifeline: 1-877-330-6366 Available 24/7
Helpline 1: 604-872-3311 (Greater Vancouver)
Helpline 2: 18666613311 (Toll free-Howe Sound/Sunshine Coast)
Helpline 3: 1-866-872-0113 (TTY)
Helpline 4: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) (BC-wide)
Within Ottawa: 613.722.6914
Outside Ottawa: 1.866.996.0991
Association québécoise de prévention du suicide: 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277-3553)
Australia – For crisis or suicide prevention support for LGBTQI in Australia, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp. Click here for other support services within Australia.
Singapore – Oogachaga WhatsApp – 8592 0609 (Tue, Wed, Thu: 7pm-10pm; Sat: 2pm-5pm)
Oogachaga face to face counselling – make an appointment
Email counselling: [email protected] [daily]
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) 24-hour suicide prevention hotline – 1-767
For the other countries including those in Asia and Europe, click here.
To learn more about WSPD 2021, read here.