10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day. It is an initiative promoted by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and supported also by the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA).
As suicide is globally such an important public-health problem – more than 800,000 people die yearly, this year’s theme is “Working together to prevent suicide”. Working together because prevention of this complex phenomenon is not a matter of one particular individual or profession, but an issue that needs collaboration at all levels, from the individual and personal to the societal and political.
Vita Poštuvan from the EFPA Board of Promotion and Prevention explains: “Among different disciplines, psychology plays an important role in suicide prevention and research. Psychologists are very often the gatekeepers that can recognise and respond to a suicidal crisis affecting an individual person. Also, many lay people come in contact with psychologists in daily life (such as in schools, health-care, social-affairs, work places or other areas) therefore people in need will often think of and also turn to psychologists for support in distress. Moreover, psychology as a science also contributes to the understanding of suicidal behaviour with much research based evidence that helps to explain suicide, bereavement after suicide or other related topics. Even more, policy makers can also be informed by psychological knowledge in order to create societies that encourage wellbeing of everyone and so reduce the risk of suicidal thinking and behaviour.”
The European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations EFPA supports activities being held around the 10th September Prevention Day. Among others, there is the “Cycle Around the Globe” action that encourages to cycle for suicide prevention or “Light a Candle” that also aims to support people bereaved by suicide.
Vita Postuvan : vita.postuvan (at) upr.si
EFPA Board of Promotion and Prevention:http://preventionintervention.efpa.eu/introduction