Council to Mark World Suicide Prevention Day
On Thursday 10 September Newry, Mourne and Down District Council will mark World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) by lighting up Newry Town Hall and Downpatrick Leisure Centre orange.
Observed on the 10 September each year, WSPD provides the opportunity for people across the globe to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention.
Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds. Every life lost represents someone’s partner, child, parent, friend or colleague. For each suicide approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected.
Almost every day in Northern Ireland a person takes their own life. The circumstances that may lead a person to take this action are complex and unique and ascertaining why is still poorly understood. Thoughts of suicide or suicidal behaviour may be triggered by a single event or a series of events over time. Risk factors, such as self-harm and mental illness - treated or untreated, are also linked to suicidal behavior.
In men under 50, suicide is the leading cause of death in the UK. In 2018, the highest number of male deaths by suicide in Northern Ireland occurred in the 25-29 age group (37 deaths) and 30-34 age group (35 deaths). The 45-49 age group experienced the highest deaths for females (11 deaths).
Suicide rates also vary by geographical area and in Newry, Mourne and Down, suicide rates were measured at their highest in 2014 (32 deaths), falling to 28 deaths in 2018. Acknowledging that suicide is a major issue within communities across the district, Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “To help combat suicide, the Council has teamed up with the Health and Social Care Trust and will participate in a regional Mental Health Awareness campaign across its social media channels beginning on the week of WSPD - #mentalwellbeingni2020.
“You can join us to help tackle suicide and raise awareness of the risks of suicide by putting the lifeline number in your phone - 0808 808 8000. Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. You can also complete the Towards Suicide Training at www.zerosuicidealliance.com/training and by lighting a candle near a window at 8pm on Thursday 10 September, you can show your support for suicide prevention, remember a lost loved one, and acknowledge the survivors of suicide.”
For further details about WSPD please contact the Council’s Health Improvement team on 0330 137 4265.