World Suicide Prevention Day falls September 10. September 10 World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is an awareness day observed on 10 September every year since 2003, to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides.

Sri Lanka had a suicide rate of 6.9/100,000 in 1950 which dramatically increased to 47/100,000 by 1995 to clock the highest in the world. But suicide prevention strategies implemented on recommendations by the Presidential Task Force of 1997 succeeded in bringing the rate down to 24/100,000 in 2004, 18/100,000 in 2014, and 16/100,000 in 2019. These included decriminalising the act of suicide (1998), a Life Skills Programme introduced by the Ministry of Education (1998), and banning the use of extremely toxic pesticides.

Suicide, A major public health problem in Sri Lanka which demands our attention, but its prevention and control, unfortunately, are not an easy task. According to WHO, close to 800 000 people die globally by suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Furthermore, for each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts.

Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it is often preventable. Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can help save lives.

Average of 08 persons die by suicide every day in Sri Lanka. If you or someone you love considering Suicide, Please Call below numbers.

SuicidePreventionSL Lifelines👇

☎️ Mental Health 1926 (toll FREE )
☎️ CCCline 1333 (toll FREE )
☎️ Sumithrayo- 0112696666
☎️ Shanthi Maargam- 0717639898

What is suicide & Who are at risk?

Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death.

Depression is the top mental health risk factor, but others include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders.

Aside from mental health conditions, other factors that increase the risk of suicide in Sri Lanka include:

  • poor job security or low levels of job satisfaction
  • history of being abused or witnessing continuous abuse
  • being diagnosed with a serious medical condition, such as cancer or HIV
  • being socially isolated or a victim of bullying or harassment
  • Having recently been released from prison or jail
  • A prior suicide attempt
  • childhood abuse or trauma
  • family history of suicide
  • loss of a significant relationship
  • following belief systems that accept suicide as a solution to personal problems

Suicide warning signs

The behaviors listed below may be signs that someone is thinking about suicide.

  • Threats or comments about killing themselves.
  • Social withdrawal from friends, family, and community.
  • Dramatic mood swings, aggressive and impulsive behavior.
  • Increased alcohol and drug usage.

If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible.

Here are five steps you can take to be the first to help someone in emotional pain:

ASK:  “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question, but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.

KEEP THEM SAFE: Find out whether they have a plan for suicide and keep them away from things that they can use to kill themselves.

BE THERE: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling.

HELP THEM CONNECT: National Institute of Mental Health has initiated Suicide Prevention Programs to Suicide in Sri Lanka. Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 1926 and the CCC Line’s number 1333 in your phone, so it’s there when you need it. You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.

STAY CONNECTED: Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.

If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm:

  • Call 119.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
  • Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.

Suicide often stems from a deep feeling of hopelessness. The inability to see solutions to problems or to cope with challenging life circumstances may lead people to see taking their own lives as the only solution.

The effects of suicide go beyond the person who acts to take his or her life. It can also have a lasting effect on family, friends, and communities. Often, family and friends are the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide and can be the first step toward helping an at-risk individual find treatment.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1926 AND 1333, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential. Together, we can help to prevent suicide in Sri Lanka. Speak up and reach out, Support suicide prevention!

Inputs – The Morning, WHO, Internet


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