World Mental Health Day: Mobilizing for Global Change

World Unity

Maureen Iselin


October 8, 2019

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 800,000 people worldwide die by suicide each year, making it the 18th leading cause of death globally. [1] But suicide is preventable and we know that the majority of people who have thoughts of suicide or attempt suicide actually go on to live full lives. [2]

That’s why this year’s World Mental Health Day (October 10) is focused on suicide prevention and the role we can all play to help prevent it. Organized by the World Federation for Mental Health, this year’s World Mental Health Day is supported by the WHO, the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and United Global Mental Health. [3]

So what can you do to help play a role in suicide prevention? Given that it’s estimated that one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds, this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign is highlighting ’40 seconds of action’ for suicide prevention. What can that look like? Some examples include[4]:

  • If you are struggling, take 40 seconds to kickstart a conversation with someone you trust about how you are feeling.
  • If you know someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, take 40 seconds to start a conversation and ask him or her how he or she is doing.
  • If you are an employer or manager, take 40 seconds to communicate with your employees about resources available to them in the workplace or local community in times of mental distress.

Please consider joining Mental Health America of the MidSouth today, and throughout the year, as we take action to prevent suicide in our own community.

If you are someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, there are resources and 24/7 help available. Reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by sending TN to 741741. To schedule a training or for more resources, visit


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *