Tuesday, November 3, 2009

National Survivors of Suicide Day is Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009

Saturday November 21 2009 is the 11th annual National Survivors of Suicide Day.

A day of healing for those who have lost someone to suicide.

It was created by U.S. Senate resolution in 1999 through the efforts of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, who lost his father to suicide. Every year, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) sponsors an event to provide an opportunity for the survivor community to come together for support, healing, information and empowerment.

On National Survivors of Suicide Day, simultaneous conferences for survivors of suicide loss will take place in the cities around the world. Please visit the AFSP website to find an event near you. There are several sites in the bay area listed. Here is a link to the conference that is being held at University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Parnassus Campus.

I will bring this event up to the Healthcare Partnership and let you know of any local activities planned on our campus.

For those who don't live near a conference site or who find it difficult to attend in person, the 90-minute broadcast will also be available from your own computer on the AFSP website from 1-2:30 p.m. EST, with a live online chat immediately following the program.

So many lost, so many left behind and all preventable.


Some facts about suicide from the World Health Organization (WHO)

•In the year 2000, approximately one million people died from suicide: a "global" mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds.

•In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 years (both sexes); these figures do not include suicide attempts up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicide.

•Suicide worldwide is estimated to represent 1.8% of the total global burden of disease in 1998, and 2.4% in countries with market and former socialist economies in 2020.

•Although traditionally suicide rates have been highest among the male elderly, rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of countries, in both developed and developing countries.

•Mental disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of all cases of suicide; however, suicide results from many complex socio-cultural factors and is more likely to occur particularly during periods of socioeconomic, family and individual crisis situations (e.g. loss of a loved one, employment, honor).

Unfortunately the list goes on. To learn more you can visit the AFSP website here.

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