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World Mental Health Day is observed across the world on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. This Day was first celebrated on October 10, 1992, at the initiative of Deputy Secretary-General Richard Hunter. World Mental Health Day is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) through raising awareness on mental health issues.

The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

This year, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has decided to make “suicide prevention” the main theme of World Mental Health Day.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide. WHO’s data shows that close to 800 000 people die by suicide every year. Furthermore, for each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts.

Employers and leaders should put in place measures to promote the good mental health of employees. The following is the WHO’s recommended plan for supporting employees and colleagues with mental health conditions or who may be at risk of suicide:

Suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that impacts on families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies.

We all have a responsibility to create awareness about mental health and what can be done to prevent it at the national, community as well as individual level. Timely intervention is the first step to help those dealing with mental illness. Employers play a big role in prevention and should implement strategic policies to prevent suicide and promote mental health.

Let’s work together to catch the signs and help prevent suicides in the world.

Resources for suicide prevention:

World Mental Health Day: How Teachers Can Intervene To Prevent Suicides

How Emergency Responders Can Intervene To Prevent Suicides

World Mental Health Day: How Managers, Employers, Employees Can Intervene To Prevent Suicides

Preventing Suicide: Information for Health Workers

Additional Resources:

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