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Raising Awareness on World Suicide Prevention Day

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    President Barack Obama signs the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, which calls for evaluation of existing mental health and suicide prevention programs and expands the reach of these programs for veterans.

    People across the globe will observe World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10 to raise awareness about and reach out to those affected by suicide. 

    The theme for this year — Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives — is meant to highlight the importance of support and the role it can play in combating suicide.

    Suicide is the second leading cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization. A large number of those deaths are among young people between 15-29.

    More than 800,000 people die by suicide every year, according to a report by WHO. But the report says that estimate is conservative because of the stigma attached to suicide-related deaths.

    The International Association for Suicide Prevention suggests taking a proactive approach by checking in on those who may be at risk and by showing support for bereaved families.

    The first Suicide Prevention Day, sponsored by IASP and WHO, was observed on Sept. 10, 2003.

    The 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1 (800) 273-8255.