World Suicide Prevention Day – 10th September 2023

September 6, 2023


Every year the Samaritans campaign to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

What is World Suicide Prevention Day?

Every year, organisations and communities around the world come together to raise awareness of how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide.

Why is it important?

The latest suicides statistics showed that in 2018, in the UK and Republic of Ireland, more than 6,800 people died by suicide. Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy.

And we know that suicide is preventable, it’s not inevitable.

But not being OK is still widely stigmatised. And governments can still make better, more ambitious plans to prevent suicide.

What do Samaritans do?

Every year they campaign with over 70 other suicide prevention and mental health groups under the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA). They continue to ask governments in the UK and Ireland to make suicide prevention a priority.

This World Suicide Prevention Day, they are highlighting the importance of the language we use when we talk about suicide, especially when asking someone you’re worried about if they’re suicidal.

It’s important to talk and write about suicide safely and responsibly. Using the right language around suicide is key to breaking down stigma. When we use our words carefully we can create a safe environment for people to open up.

People who have been suicidal have often said it is a relief to talk about thoughts they are experiencing. Just being there to listen and showing you care can help. If they want to talk to someone else about how they are feeling, they can call Samaritans.

How to start a conversation with someone

Just being there to listen and showing you care can help. Here are some tips on how to open up a conversation with someone you’re worried about:

  • Choose a good time, and somewhere without distractions
  • Use open questions that need more than a yes/no answer
  • ‘How are things, I’ve noticed you don’t seem quite yourself?’
  • Listen well. ‘How’s that making you feel?’
  • Avoid giving your view of what’s wrong, or what they should do

It’s normal to feel anxious about asking someone if they’re suicidal, but it could save someone’s life. Try and avoid saying things like ‘you’re not thinking of doing something stupid are you?’. Being patient and showing you care builds trust and helps someone to open up.

You could ask:

  • Have you thought about ending your life?
  • Are you saying that you want to die?
  • Are you thinking of ending your life because you want to be dead, or is it because you want the situation you’re in or the way you feel to stop?


The language we use matters

Remember these dos and don’ts:

  • Don’t share or re-post anything that talks about suicide or self-harm in an unsafe way online
  • Do report content you think might be harmful
  • Do post sources of support and share stories of hope and recovery
  • Don’t mention the method or location of a suicide; there’s evidence that this can lead to further suicides
  • If you’re worried about someone, do ask if they’re feeling suicidal, and help them get the support they need
  • Don’t use language that could come across as judgemental. For example, ‘don’t do anything stupid’
  • Don’t say committed suicide. ‘Committed’ suggests suicide is illegal, which it isn’t
  • Do say took his/her/their own life or died by suicide
  • Don’t share or re-post anything that talks about suicide or self-harm in an unsafe way online
  • Do report content you think might be harmful


Find out more about supporting someone you’re worried about and how you can talk about suicide safely online…

Information taken from

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