Suicide is not inevitable – it is preventable

Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge.

  • Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds.
  • In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK.
  • There has been a significant increase in suicide in the UK, the first time since 2013 – this appears to be driven by an increase in the male suicide rates.
  • 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.
  • Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in people who die by suicide.
  • For every 1 suicide 25 people make a suicide attempt.
  • 135 people could be affected by each suicide death.

In the UK men remain three times more likely to take their own lives than women. There are many possible reasons for this including the changing role of women in our society who have become less dependent on their male partners, which could lead to relationship breakdowns which can be more devastating for men than women. Also, that women generally tend to be more ‘emotionally literate’ and can discuss their feelings with others rather than resorting to internalising their emotions or using alcohol or recreational substances as ways of coping with distress. This in turn, together with the fear and stigma of revealing low mood might further hinder the readiness of men to seek help for their symptoms.

Preventing suicide is often possible and you are a key player in its prevention! You can make a difference – as a member of society, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbour. There are many things that you can do daily, and on World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), to prevent suicidal behaviour. You can raise awareness about the issue, educate yourself and others about the causes of suicide and warning signs for suicide, show compassion and care for those who are in distress in your community, question the stigma associated with suicide, suicidal behaviour and mental health problems and share your own experiences.

Taking a minute to reach out to someone in your community – a family member, friend, colleague or even a stranger – could change the course of another’s life. The International Association for Suicide Prevention suggest lighting a candle and placing in a safe place visible from your window at 8pm on the day to show your support.

If you need support yourself please contact one of the following: