It Takes More than a Village: World Suicide Prevention Day, 2013

Written by on September 8, 2013 in All Posts, Misc, Suicide Prevention with 1 Comment

Suicide knows no boundaries. It triggers anguish and loss in every country in the world. Overall, almost 1 million people a year die by suicide, including almost 40,000 in the United States. More people die by suicide every year than from wars and homicides combined

There was a time when suicide was almost universally considered a crime or a sin. People lacked the knowledge to understand that forces well beyond a person’s volition are at play when suicide takes a life. Absent, too, from many discussions about suicide (and regrettably absent, still, in some circles) was a sense of compassion and understanding for the people who died by suicide, or who survived a suicide attempt, and their families.

That history of stigma and judgment makes it all the more significant that every year, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day. In fact, the entire week of September 8-14, 2013, is World Suicide Prevention Week.

Worldwide Suicide Prevention Events

If you would like to recognize this week, there are many activities that you can participate in. At the International Association for Suicide Prevention’s website for World Suicide Prevention Day, you can find information about activities taking place not only online and in the United States, but also in 44 other countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

Online Suicide Prevention Events

Several virtual events are taking place online, particularly on Facebook, where people who lost a loved one to suicide or been touched in some other way can post remembrances. One such virtual event is sponsored by the Facebook group Suicide Shatters. The International Association for Suicide Prevention also has a Facebook event, and its World Suicide Prevention Day website lists other virtual events, as well.

Suicide Prevention Day Resources

Photo Suicide ShattersThe International Association for Suicide Prevention’s site contains numerous resources for World Suicide Prevention Day, including:

        • A toolkit listing all you need to know about the day.
        • Postcards in 40 languages marking World Suicide Prevention Day.
        • A list of almost 30 different ways that you can support World Suicide Prevention Day.

Several groups have created posters and other graphics for you to share with others on Facebook, by email, or however you choose. You can find some at sites for the American Association of Suicidology and the Facebook group Suicide Shatters.

An Inspiring Day

World Suicide Prevention Day gives me hope. As someone who is passionate about suicide prevention and who has been touched by suicide in various ways, I find it heartening that so many people from so many countries are mobilizing to help prevent suicide.

It really does take more than a village.


© Copyright 2013 Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, All Rights Reserved. Written for

Top photo purchased from Bottom photo used with permission from


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  1. judy says:

    my husband of 21 years died in my arms on august 25th 17 about 3 months ago. my kids dont include me in their life w my grandkids my family siblings and father have long ago stopped caring all due to opiate dependency caused by my doctor prescribing pain meds from a car crash instead of looking after the pain properly. the family started judging me 8 or 9 years ago before i was anything like i am now calling me drug addict saying rehab or no family period but my pain was unbearable and still is then my doctor like a million others caved to society pressure or fear? and cut off everyone in his care all at once and most including me have now gone to paying for them on the streets its ruined my life led to my husbands death at 51 of fentanyl overdose and my ultimate suicide. I want to be with him, i thought my kids would care after he was gone but there is no support only judgement and ridicule telling my grand kids im not safe to be with them. Ive had it and just want to be with my Leonard again. i can not go on. The thought of Christmas alone is unbearable thanks for hearing me out maybe ill matter to someone out there or this will touch someone and make them stop judging a family member before they lose them too. My family will be happy to be rid of me and as i have done all their lives i would do anything i was capable of to make my 4 kids happy. They are all great people no addictions no criminals no welfare checks all have families jobs one is part way to being a lawyer one is a hero and retired at 33 from the military with full benefits after receiving medals for bravery and honor doing 2 tours in Afghanistan, and all have children they love a lot like i do them, i was a good mom and tried to show them everything and gave them everything they ever needed or wanted in life. All this got me was awesome photos to look at and cry in my loneliness. im not going through many years of this misery. im only 51, I cant do it i dont even want to try. im too sad over losing Len and too lonely he was all i had for the last 10 years. i miss him i cant wait to see him. maybe you wont be happy to lose your loved one. think about it, Love Judy in ontario