Today is World Suicide Prevention Day…does anyone care?

Today, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day. Tonight, all the major TV networks plus other channels will air the one-hour long telethon, “Stand Up to Cancer,” but I have yet to see or hear anything about this Suicide Prevention Day on television or in the news. For a day that’s supposedly commemorated by the entire earth, there’s little or no publicity by anyone, at least not where it’s visible to me, anyway.

I wasn’t looking for someone to put on a television special about it, but at the same time, I kind of wanted to run into an organization table that’s handing out information or ribbons indicating support for suicide prevention.Where is the media attention? Couldn’t a local television news be lured by a mental health organization to give a quick coverage to this day? Did they even bother to contact the media stations?

Here’s another problem. Some organizations have one color designated for suicide prevention ribbon, while other orgs have another color. Which color is the right one? Stigma can always be blamed for the reason why we don’t talk about mental health issues openly, but when we can’t even agree on a ribbon color, there’s obviously some sort of an issue with strategy. It’s just plain hard to commemorate this day when it is just not easy to create visibility. Here’s a little comparison:  It’s so easy to create awareness for breast cancer, because you just have to put on something pink.

Some might be wondering that if I have such qualms about this, why am I not out there handing stuff out? And really, they’re right. While I do hope this post and the other previous factoids I put up leading up to this day will catch someone’s eye, I should’ve been out somewhere today giving out info, just trying to get anyone’s attention. But the reality is that there are existing organizations out there that should have publicized this Suicide Prevention Day better. If “Stand Up 2 Cancer” get the TV networks to give a full hour to that program, surely some media source could spare a little space to bring attention to World Suicide Prevention Day.

Now we’ll see how it’ll go with Mental Illness Awareness Week, which is coming up on October 3-9.

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One Comment to “Today is World Suicide Prevention Day…does anyone care?”

  1. I care.

    I understand your frustration, although because the windows of my world were closed yesterday, not open to even the television media or the outside world, I was exposed to a lot of World Suicide Prevention Day activity.

    On Twitter I saw quite a bit of activity and on facebook as well. I was pleasantly surprised that a few people commented on my post about lighting a candle last night, sharing the loss in their life to suicide. I’m sure you’re not surprised that I blogged about the topic, twice. I also saw a lot of blogging activity from others.

    That said, were there any PSA’s on TV or any organizations passing out information to the public? The number of advocacy orgs for suicide prevention and mental health is fairly large, it would be great to see some more “real world” activism as well as the social media coverage. It may have occurred, I just don’t know about it.

    This Tuesday night (9pm Eastern) during the Mental Health and Social Media Chat on Twitter (#mhsm) we will be discussing how to keep the momentum going after world suicide prevention day/week. Hopefully we will come away with some good ideas!

    I did have the opportunity to talk about my passion for the cause last night with some people that I might not normally get to do that with, part of that was due to the World Suicide Prevention Day campaign and the plea to light a candle at 8pm. Some friends were at my home to witness it and it’s importance to me. That was good, even if the world could not see my candle, they did.

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