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World Suicide Prevention Day is on Social Media

FEBRUARY 14, 2020

The annual world suicide prevention day, organised by the The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) takes place today (10th September)

The IASP was founded by the late Professor Erwin Ringel and Dr. Norman Farberow in 1960, and now includes professionals and volunteers from 77 countries. IASP is a Non-Governmental Organisation concerned with suicide prevention and is dedicated to:

  • preventing suicidal behaviour,
  • alleviating its effects, and
  • providing a forum for academics, mental health professionals, crisis  workers, volunteers and suicide survivors.

This year’s theme is working together to prevent suicide and is using #WSPD2019 across social media channels with charities taking part in a raft of activity to highlight World Suicide Prevention Day through the use of social media in an attempt to cascade their messages far and wide.

Twitter has teamed up with the campaign to ensure that when particular hashtags are used an emoji showing a yellow and orange suicide prevention ribbon is instantly applied.

The hashtags are: #WorldSuicidePreventionDay, #SuicidePrevention and #WSPD, as well as #WSPD2019.

Among those raising awareness of mental health issues is Cruse Bereavement Care, which is using eye catching visuals on social media to highlight how grief impacts on mental health. Other voluntary sector organisations are utilising the power of social media to get across key messages about suicide and its prevalence.

The Samaritans have released a report to highlight latest suicide trends in the UK. This is being accompanied on its website with images showing some of the latest rates, for example by age group and gender which can then be shared on social media.

Making Space, which supports those people with mental health conditions as well as learning disabilities and dementia is using social media to urge people to time to ask how their friends are and listen to their reply.

In addition the IASP has created an official World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 website and invites bloggers and writers to use imagery, figures and online resources to help promote events.

Young Minds, who's campaign Act Early calls on the government to work together to look after young people’s mental health and get early help to all young people who need it. To mark #WorldSuicidePreventionDay their guest blogger C.K. shares her tips on how to cope with suicidal thoughts and feelings.

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