More than one million people kill themselves EVERY YEAR. That’s 3,000 deaths a day, or one every 40 seconds. On an annual basis, suicide claims more lives than war and homicide COMBINED. These are statistics that cause us some concern.
You might be questioning the motivation for this particular post so let’s clear that one up first. Today, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day 2014. The reason that this has struck such a chord here at OM® is that this year’s theme is Suicide Prevention: One World Connected. Is this making a little more sense now?
Some might consider our work to be whimsical, but there can be no doubting that the thing that underpins our efforts – connection, and all that it entails – is a serious business.
People the Earth over need help and support from others, which is something that those trying to save lives at the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) are keen to stress . . .
Isolation can have tragic consequences. Disconnection is a major factor in those suicide statistics. There’s nothing whimsical about this.
Prof Ella Arensman, the IASP President, says, ‘The theme – Suicide Prevention: One World Connected – reflects the fact that connections are important if we want to enhance strategies to prevent suicide worldwide. We should be better at reaching out to people who have become disconnected from others and who have become isolated. Social isolation can increase the risk of suicide. However, strong human bonds can be protective against suicide’.
This last point is an important point. You see, it’s not just about reaching out to those who have become isolated and who are at risk already, it’s about being proactive, stopping problems before they’ve even started, being better friends and neighbors, reaching out, forming human bonds, making those all-important connections.
You’re busy, we get that, but it’s our opinion that EVERYONE can make a little more time for other people. Just a little time. It can make a big difference, believe us.
Is there someone in YOUR neighborhood who might appreciate a little more interaction? It might be someone needing help or support, someone craving conversation or even just an occasional smile . . .
Human contact. Connection. Togetherness. Kinship. Such things are the all-important foundations upon which a better world can be built. In such a place, isolation wouldn’t cause loneliness and cost lives. That has to be worth standing up for.
‘[Suicide] is a serious global public health problem,’ adds Prof Arensman. ‘[But] together, we can make a stronger case for suicide prevention worldwide . . . together we can shine a spotlight on this major problem. I’d like to encourage all people in all countries across the world to connect’.
Here at OM®, we couldn’t agree more. You see, for all our artistic endeavors, we’ve never lost sight of the things that have driven our efforts from the start and today, on World Suicide Prevention Day 2014, we’re proud to lend our support and help to spread the message. One World Connected . . .