Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF) invites everyone to observe World Suicide Prevention Day (SuPre) this September 10 (Wednesday). SuPre is the one day of the year where we remember a lost loved one and support survivors of suicide by lighting a candle by our window at 8 pm. St. Alphonsus Mary di Liguori (Magallanes) church was the first to spearhead this observance in 2009. This marks their fifth year in asking the public to take an hour off their busy schedules to pay tribute to everyone affected by depression and suicide.
This year is significant because it marks the release by the WHO of the World Suicide Report (WSR). The report follows the adoption of the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 by the World Health Assembly, which commits all 194 member states to reducing their suicide rates by 10% by 2020.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 3,000 people on average commit suicide daily (1 every forty seconds). For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. About one million people die by suicide each year.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) reports that about 5 people die of suicide every day. The age group with the highest rate of suicide is between 20 to 24 years. Deaths due to suicide are underreported to avoid socio-cultural stigma, escape police enquiries and legal harassment, and benefit from the insurance sector. They are also misclassified as accidents. Hence, these official numbers are gross underestimates.
Those who are currently undergoing emotional distress can contact our 24/7 crisis helpline at 804- HOPE (4673).