October 10, 2019 is World Mental Health Day

by Gary Thandi, MSW RSW

This October 10th is World Mental Health Day. According to the World Health Organization, the day “provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.” This year’s theme is on suicide prevention.

According to the World Health Organization, close to 800 000 people around the world die due to suicide every year, which amounts to one person dying every 40 seconds. In Canada, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) reports that about 4,000 Canadians per year die by suicide, an average of nearly 11 each day.

Suicide cuts across all cultures and socioeconomic groups, and throughout the lifespan. There are indications that for each adult who died by suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.

We must all continue to work towards effective and evidence-based interventions that can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts.