World Suicide Prevention Day
…is observed on this day each year. International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and World Health Organization (WHO) play a key role in this campaign. The aim is to:
- increase the public awareness about suicide prevention
- provide education about suicide
- promote actions to prevent suicide
- decrease stigma associated with suicide
“Suicide” is a taboo (禁忌) in many cultures, and the word often brings strong feelings. Most people do like to talk about it. In some cultures, thinking about suicide is also not acceptable. So, even if someone want to talk about it, they found it difficult.
In fact, most people in their lifetime have had thoughts of ending life. Having a thought does not necessarily leads to an action. In clinical settings, most people who think about ending life do not really want to end their life. Instead, they just want to end the “psychological pain” they are going through but are unable to find another way to deal with the “pain”.
As a result, hopelessness is one of the top suicide risk factors. Events related to generating hopelessness would then increase someone’s risk of suicide, such as: loss (relationship, job, home, health) and being a victim of trauma. And someone’s experience of loss and trauma are often likely to develop mental illness (e.g., depression, anxiety) if the loss and trauma were not resolved. And, hopelessness is one of the symptoms of major depressive disorder. Therefore, many news are about someone with depression committed or attempted suicide. Seeing the inter-relationships among feeling of hopelessness, personal experience in life, and mental illness, we know that suicide is a complex matter (not simply about right or wrong, good or bad).
Suicide is preventable. Understanding about the risk factors of suicide may help people to identify earlier and find appropriate resources and mental health professionals for help in time.
Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention (http://csrp.hku.hk/WEB/eng/index.asp)
The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong – Suicide Crisis Intervention Centre (SCIC)
Suicide Prevention Services (SPS, 生命熱線) – http://www.sps.org.hk/index_en.php
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