Today is Samaritans Awareness Day. The Samaritans is a charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide often through their telephone helpline, operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2014, Samaritans received 5,100,000 calls for help – almost one call every six seconds.
Samaritans believes that offering people the opportunity to be listened to in confidence, and accepted without prejudice, can help alleviate despair and make emotional health mainstream issue.
In the US in 2016, there were almost 45,000 recorded suicides, up from 42,700 in 2014, according to the CDC’s National Centre for Health Statistics (NCHS). In the UK and Ireland alone in 2017, over 6,000 people died of suicide.
While it is not necessary to be suicidal to contact Samaritans, World Suicide Prevention day is a Samaritans initiative which aims to raise awareness of how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide. Every year organisations and communities around the world come together to bring to light a specific aspect of suicide prevention through disconnection.
On Suicide Awareness Day, many organisations involved in suicide prevention and mental health, generally ask governments to make suicide prevention a priority, and help raise awareness about how we can each support each other better.