World Suicide Prevention Day 2020

10 September 2020

Thoughts on World Suicide Prevention Day. 

Dandelion. Photo by Nita from Pexels

10 September 2020 is World Suicide Prevention day. The day seeks to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention. It also stands as a memorial for loved ones lost to suicide.

Suicidal thoughts are not uncommon; 20% of the UK population have had suicidal thoughts during their lifetime. On average, 18 people commit suicide every day in the UK. Men make up 75% of this heart-breaking number.

The COVID pandemic has made talking about suicide prevention even more important. This year, lockdown, a struggling economy, job losses, increased domestic violence and isolation, have taken their toll on mental health and wellbeing and we are already seeing this first hand. There is a challenge ahead for all of us in responding adequately to the impending need for greater support for those who have suffered most from the impact of the pandemic.

For a century we have sought to prevent the hospitalisation and institutionalisation of individuals who might live useful and productive lives. As we clock 100 years of mental health provision, we welcome that talking about mental health and suicide is becoming more widespread than in the past. However, we still have progress to make in regards to raising awareness of suicide and normalising conversations about mental health.

According to International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), suicide is still among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. Every 40 seconds a life is lost through suicide. Its impact billows out to affect others; for each suicide, approximately 135 people suffer grief or are otherwise impacted.  

To combat this, we will continue to treat and advocate for people living with mental illnesses and those struggling with suicide. We’ll also continue to provide original and innovative thought on human development and how to support those who need help.

A few years ago a Channel 4 program was made on therapy at the Tavistock and Portman. The Kids on the Edge documentary showcased some of our work with children and young adults as they wrestled with self-harm and suicidal ideation. Watch the series here.

We know that preventing suicide is a joint effort and that many of those who attempt or complete suicide are not known to services. It is not just a matter of policies and healthcare organisations rallying together but also communities, families and individuals being better equipped.

Collaboration is key and everyone can make a contribution to this effort of saving lives.

Ultimately, we must continue to make all our efforts to stop anyone from taking their life. By joining together, we can help curb the tide of suicides in the UK where one death is too many.




If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, please call the Samaritans on  116 123 ( available 24 hours a day 7 days a week).

Share this page