SEPTEMBER is just a day away and it’s the time of the year when mental health advocates do an extra mile for suicide prevention. Suicide prevention is everything’s concern and it should be done every day.

September is suicide prevention month and September 10 is world suicide prevention day. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) has shared the theme for 2018: “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.”

IASP has provided facts and figures about suicide:

* Over 800,000 people die (globally) by suicide annually, representing 1 person every 40 seconds

* Suicide is the 15th leading cause of death globally, account for 1.4 percent of all deaths

* Suicide is the leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 24 in many European countries

* Globally suicide rates among this age group are higher in males than females

* Self-harm largely occurs among older adolescents, and globally is the 2nd leading cause of death for older adolescent girls

* Suicide is the result of a convergence of risk factors including but not limited to genetic, psychological, social and cultural risk factors, sometimes combined with experiences of trauma and loss

* For every 1 suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt

* 135 people are affected by each suicide death

* This equates to 108 million people bereaved by suicide worldwide every year

Based on the facts and figures, the community is essential in helping prevent death by suicide. The community is defined by the dictionary as a group of people living in the same place or a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing the same common attitudes, goals, and values.

We are all liked together as a family, as colleagues, as friends, and as neighbors. But there are some who feel “disconnected” and isolates from the community.

There might be something bothering this person. We can watch for signs and symptoms of a person thinking of death by suicide:

•Depression, sad, empty mood

•Chronic fatigue

•Changes in sleep and eating patterns

•Talking or joking about suicide

•Talking about hopelessness, helplessness or worthlessness (self-hatred, self-loathing)

•Preoccupation with death

•Loss of interest in previously enjoyed

•Saying goodbye to people/getting affairs in order

•Depression, sad, empty mood

•Chronic fatigue

•Changes in sleep and eating patterns

•Talking or joking about suicide

•Talking about hopelessness, helplessness or worthlessness (self-hatred, self-loathing)

•Preoccupation with death

•Loss of interest in previously enjoyed

•Saying goodbye to people/getting affairs in order

When we are worried about this person, reach out and ask, “are you okay?” Offer your non-judgmental support, be kind and you can make a difference.

One can also become a mental health advocate, encouraging those in distress to share their story in their time and pace. We can help by listening to them, encouraging them to seek professional help (if needed) and be there for them. Again, you can make a difference.

Let’s work together to prevent suicide.