Monday, September 10, 2012

World Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day

World Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day is observed on the 10th of September each year to raise awareness and provide worldwide commitment and action in the prevention of suicide.

September 9-15th is National Suicide Prevention Week

Every year more than 1 million people die of suicide world wide.

That's 1 person every 40 seconds

The rate of suicide had gone up 60% over the last 45 years

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. (the 2nd leading cause of death among those between the ages of 25-35; the 3rd leading cause of death among those between the ages of 10-24)

There are 20 more attempts for every suicide completed (100-200 more  attempts for those between the ages of 10-24)

90% of those who have died of suicide had a diagnosed and treatable psychiatric condition at the time of death.

Most people with mental illness do not die by suicide.

(Information from the Centers for Disease Control and World Heath Organization)

This weekend, I joined over 1,500 people to participate in the Out of the Darkness Walk for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention to raise money for suicide prevention and awareness.

Over $100,000 was raised. The money goes to providing awareness and prevention training, peer leadership/support, interactive screening programs, and awareness programs for local sheriff's departments.

It was a beautiful day with bright blue Colorado skies and temperatures reaching over 80 degrees. In fact, I got pretty hot a mile or so into the walk. We walked around the beautiful trails that surround the suburbs of Denver with the Rocky Mountains reaching high in the background.

Leading the walk was one of the Colorado Crusaders Equestrian Team horses. The horse had shoes tied to his saddle in memory of those lost to suicide.

At the start of the walk, butterflies were released into the cloudless sky. Butterflies symbolize change, and are considered to bring luck. The Ancient Greeks also considered butterflies as the souls of those who had passed away.

Many local businesses and organizations came out to support and sponsor the cause. 

Make sure you wear yellow today to support World Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day and raise awareness in the prevention of suicide.

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