The World Suicide Prevention Day is celebrated on September 10, annually. The day is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The day mainly focuses on spreading awareness about the fact that suicide can be prevented by a small gesture by someone else, or yourself.

Around 300 activities have been conducted in more than 70 countries to spread awareness about the prevention of suicide in the past few years, according to data by IASP. These activities include press briefings, social media events, conferences, educational fairs, and commemorative events.

Help save a life, call on these numbers in case of an emergency

  1. Fortis Stress Helpline – available 24×7 (pan India)
    Phone number – +9183768 04102 
    Email ID –
  2. The Vandrevala Foundation – available 24×7 (Pan India)
    Phone Numbers – +91 730 459 9836, +91 730 459 9837, 1860 2662 345
    Email ID –
  3. iCall – available Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pan India)
    Phone Number – 022-25521111

International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)

The International Association for Suicide Prevention was founded in 1960 by the late Professor Erwin Ringel and Dr Normal Farebrow. The organisation mainly focuses on preventing suicidal behaviour and minimalising its effects. It also provides a forum for academics, mental health professionals, volunteers, survivors, and crisis workers.

The IASP includes volunteers and professionals working from 50 different countries to achieve this goal.

Murad Khan, the president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), addressed the public via a YouTube video on the official channel of IASP. In the video, he explained the functioning of IASP and the methods it has introduced to spread awareness this year.

The video shared by IASP on World Suicide Prevention Day 2020.

Gravity of the Situation, Statistics and the Death Toll: NCRB REPORT

  • The National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) issued a report in 2019 titled ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2019’. According to the report, it was concluded that more than 1.39 lakh Indian people died due to suicide in the year 2019.
  • The WHO issued a brochure to go through for a better understanding of World Suicide Prevention Day 2020, to read the brochure, click here.
  • It was also reported that 67% of that 1.39 lakh population are young adults, varying from the ages of 18 to 45.
  • The report states that the number of youth suicidal deaths in 2019 increased by 4% as compared to 2018. Also, there was an increase of 3.4% of suicidal deaths overall in 2019.
  • The report gave the results of a thoroughly conducted investigation, claiming the biggest cause of suicidal deaths by youths to be, family problems.

The report broke down the number of deaths with the causes, they were as follows-

  • Family Problems caused 31,725 (34%) of the total number of suicides by the younger adults.
  • Mental Illness caused 6,491 deaths (7%)
  • Drug Abuse/Alcoholism caused 5,257 (5.6%) deaths,
  • Deaths caused by love affairs was 4,919 (5.2%)
  • Suicidal deaths driven by marriage related issues were around 7,293 ( 7.3%).

Lockdown and its affects on mental health in 2020

Before the virus was anticipated, the World Health Organization published a predicament about an increase of 20% in the reported cases of mental illness in the year 2020. According to predicted data from the WHO, it could mean that due to the changed scenario, loss of jobs, and quarantine, the figures can be much more than the anticipated data.

The Coronavirus pandemic has created rough situations for individuals from all walks of life. These situations directly affect people’s mental health. The downfall of GDP, the suffering economy, increased unemployment and contributing to it all, the devastating long term isolation, have caused severe mental trauma for people and increased the rates of stress and anxiety among the population, globally. 

Positivity does not come easy and this is one of the many reasons why World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 should be regarded as the most important time and day of the year. These factors make this year the most crucial time to focus on mental health and to closely acknowledge the subtle changes in behaviour. Even one decision of a mere question can save someone’s life.

Know Your Role; How can you help?

Understanding the difference between myths and facts is the most important task when it comes to mental health issues.

The World Health Organization published a research report on the prevention of suicide and the problem of mental illness.

The report states, the way forward is to educate yourself, it states that “Given the widespread stigma around suicide, most people who are contemplating suicide do not know
who to speak to. Rather than encouraging suicidal behaviour, talking openly can give an individual other option or the time to rethink his/her decision, thereby preventing suicide”

The main key is to notice the changes in behaviours, the unusual quietness, or the anger which was uncalled for, and the main solution is to encourage people to talk. If the person is comfortable enough to talk to you, make sure you give them your full attention, and not just hear, listen. Listen and try to understand where the person is coming from, what they mean and if they are bothered about it, understand that it is a big problem for them, it doesn’t have to be for you. Try not to interrupt them in between or present your views on the matter.

If you still think, the person has a lot of more things going on and they are on the verge of making decisions with that mindset, make sure to keep a constant check on them, just making sure they know that you are there for them at all times.

Please remember, a little observation can save a life.