World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, is a day for us to unite in our efforts to improve the mental health of people around the world.
The theme selected for this year’s Day is suicide prevention. Every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide.
WHO is encouraging everyone to prepare to take “40 seconds of action” on 10 October to help:
• Improve awareness of the significance of suicide as a global public health problem;
• Improve knowledge of what can be done to prevent suicide;
• Reduce the stigma associated with suicide; and
• Let people who are struggling know that they are not alone.
Here are some more ideas:
• If you are struggling, take 40 seconds to kickstart a conversation with someone you trust about how you are feeling.
• If you know someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, take 40 seconds to start a conversation and ask them how they are doing.
• If you work in media, highlight the 40-second statistic in interviews, articles and blog posts.
• If you work in the arts or on digital platforms, interrupt your production or broadcast to transmit a 40-second message about mental health or preventing suicide.
• If you are an employer or manager, take 40 seconds to formulate a positive message of support to your employees about resources available to them in the workplace or local community in times of mental distress.
• If you want your leaders to hear your request for action, record a 40-second audio clip or video telling them the action you want them to take on suicide prevention and mental health.
• If you have a platform for communicating with a large audience (social media, television, radio), provide 40-second slots for sharing mental health stories and messages.
• If you hold political office, communicate publicly about the action you are taking to promote mental health and prevent suicide, highlighting the 40-second statistic.
(1) Suicide Prevention Flyer: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/mental-health/suicide/flyer-40seconds-web.pdf?sfvrsn=5ba643c_2
(2) Link to Campaign Handouts: https://www.who.int/health-topics/suicide/campaign-materials-handouts