History of World Suicide Prevention Day:
On September 10th, 2003 the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the first World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) in order to draw attention to the fact that suicide is a major and sometimes hidden public health issue. It is estimated that one million people worldwide die by suicide each year – one death every 40 seconds. The number of lives lost through suicide every year exceeds the number of deaths due to the tragedies of war and homicide combined.
On WSPD communities throughout the world come together to support those bereaved by suicide, remember and celebrate the lives of those who died by suicide, support those who struggle with living and renew their commitment to helping all individuals reconnect with their reasons to live while building lives with dignity, purpose, and meaning.
Locally, the London-Middlesex Suicide Prevention Council (LMSPC) has organized yearly events in honour of WSPD. In 2004, the LMSPC hosted a ceremony and planted a tree in Gibbons Park. Beneath the tree is a plaque with this inscription:
MAY THESE BOUGHS KISS THE FACE OF THE CREATOR
IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO LEFT TOO SOON BY TROUBLED CHOICE
AND SHELTER THOSE WHO HELD THEM CLOSE.
TO HEAL – TO LOVE – TO UNDERSTAND