Estimated reading time: 3 minutes.
In life’s journey, there comes a moment when we are compelled to pause, reflect, and unite for a cause that can connect us all deeply. Sunday, September 10th, 2023, marks this solemn occasion —World Suicide Prevention Day. This year’s theme is “Creating Hope Through Action.”
World Suicide Prevention Day brings together over 60 countries in a shared mission to reduce stigma, advocate for policy change, foster help-seeking behaviours, and honour the memories of those we’ve lost to suicide.
This day resonates with me personally, as I lost my brother, Shannon, to suicide in 2014. I am one of countless individuals dealing with the continual grief of losing a loved one to suicide. However, that grief also helps move us forward to support and advocate for those dealing with this issue. This is echoed by The International Association for Suicide Prevention’s theme of “creating hope through action.
We All Have a Role to Play
Across Australia, the ripple effects of suicide are felt far and wide, with nearly half of our nation affected by this devastating crisis. The numbers are staggering, yet behind every statistic lies a story, a person, a void that reminds us of the urgency to act and the necessity to engage every individual in this vital endeavour.
The organisation Suicide Prevention Australia has a message for all of us that is strong and clear — every single one of us has a role to play in suicide prevention. It is not just about a single day of the year; it is about every day, every moment that grants us an opportunity to be a beacon of hope, a shoulder to lean on, and a voice of reassurance.
Championing Hope: From Words to Actions
At Road Sense Australia, we encourage each one of you to reflect to understand that within you lies an immense power to uplift, foster positivity, and be an advocate for change.
Whether it is through lending a listening ear, sharing your own story to help destigmatise the conversation around mental health or advocating for policy reforms, there are a number of ways in which we can all take meaningful action.
Remembering and Honouring
In honouring my brother and the countless others who have lost their lives to suicide, we highlight not just the depth of our loss, but the hope that through united efforts, we can foster a world of understanding, empathy, and support.
It is a day to remember not only those we’ve lost but to stand in solidarity with survivors of suicide attempts and those bearing the immense weight of grief, pledging to turn our shared grief into shared responsibility, a shared endeavour to uplift, support, and most importantly, to save lives.
What We Can Do
As we mark this World Suicide Prevention Day, let us embrace our collective responsibility with open hearts and unwavering resolve. Let us champion hope, embarking on actions that resonate with empathy, understanding, and human kindness.
United, we stand in our commitment to reduce suicide, empowering individuals with the confidence to take meaningful action, not just today, but every day. Together, let’s forge a future where no one walks alone, where every life is cherished, and where hope is not just a word, but a tangible, life-saving force.
I miss you every day. I am sorry I was not there for you when you needed me.
Michael (Road Sense Founder/CEO)