World Suicide Prevention Day 2020
KATHMANDU: World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 to raise awareness around the globe about the prevention of suicide.
As per World Health Organisation (WHO) data, every year close to 800,000 lives are lost to suicide, making it one suicide every 40 seconds.
In 2003, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) collaborated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) to host the first ever World Suicide Prevention Day.
On today #WorldSuicidePreventionDay know that there are supports available if you are in crisis or need to talk
— IASP (@IASPinfo) September 10, 2020
WHO recognizes suicide as a public health priority. "Suicide is a serious public health problem; however, suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions", reads WHO statement.
It is imperative that each one of us do our bit to raise awareness not only on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day, but throughout the year, says Dr Shashank Raj Pokharel, MD Psychiatrist at Ilam hospital. "And it all starts with you", added Dr Pokharel.
"I believe that our public health system doesn't have an organised mechanism for recording suicides. The availability and quality of data on suicide and suicide attempts is very poor in our country. For instance, I had to go to a police station to record a number of suicides" lamented Dr Pokharel.
Ilam district is said to have one the highest suicide rates in the country. Data provided by Ilam Police shows that a total of 57 people have died by suicide following the lockdown in the district. "The depression due to lockdown has made deep impact on minds of the people where as many as 20 people suffering from mental illness have approached the hospital on a daily basis", Dr Pokharel informed.
With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading and impacting people in multiple ways across the country, the government had established helpline call-centres (1115/1133) to direct people in emotional distress with Covid-19 queries.
World Suicide Prevention Day Theme for 2020 is “Working Together To Prevent Suicide”.