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WHO's 40 second campaign to prevent suicides

Mental-Health
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Rohit Shishodia
The World Health Organization (WHO) has come up with strategies that can prevent suicides. According to WHO, one person commits suicide every 40 seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds, but it affects people of all age groups in all countries.

Therefore, the UN agency, on the cccasion of World Mental Health Day (October 10), has published some ideas that can be performed by a common or professional person to prevent suicides. The theme of this year’s Mental Health Day is Suicide Prevention.

The WHO has said that if one is struggling, then he should take 40 seconds to kickstart a conversation with someone he trusts about how he is feeling.

The UN agency added, “If you know someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, take 40 seconds to start a conversation and ask them how they are doing. If you work in the media, highlight the 40-second statistic in interviews, articles and blogposts.”

The WHO has said that if one works in the arts or on digital platforms, he should interrupt production or broadcast to transmit a 40-second message about mental health or preventing suicide.

The WHO has suggested that an employer or manager should take 40 seconds to formulate a positive message of support to his employees about resources available to them in the workplace or local community in times of mental distress.

“If you want your leaders to hear your request for action, record a 40-second audio clip or video telling them the action you want them to take on suicide prevention and mental health,” said the WHO.

The WHO added that if one has a platform for communicating with a large audience (social media, television, radio), he should provide 40-second slots for sharing mental health stories and messages.

The WHO has also urged political leaders that they should communicate publicly about action they are taking to promote mental health and prevent suicide, highlighting the 40-second statistic.

Suicides are preventable. A prior suicide attempt is an important risk factor for suicide.


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