THE STAGGERING RATE OF SUICIDE MARKS A GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
Organizations from Around the Globe Shift the Conversation Surrounding Suicide from Mental Illness to Public Health
September 22, 2017 – More people die from suicide every year than from conflicts, wars and natural disasters combined. Due to a lack of public awareness and funding, suicide is a rapidly growing from a mental health community issue to a public health crisis.
The #SixtySecondChallenge, a global social media initiative that encourages everyday people to give those who need an emotional lift, a “push-up” asks participants to record 60 seconds of push-ups in a creative way in the name of suicide awareness, donate much needed suicide-prevention funds, then post the recording to their social media feeds, challenging three friends to also take a minute and save a life by joining them in taking the challenge at sixtysecondchallenge.com.
Mr. Met (New York City Mets mascot) just posted his challenge and has challenged three mascots from MLB to do the same. Wally from the Boston Red Sox has already accepted and posted his push-ups.
With approximately 11M suicide attempts in the USA (2016), it is critical that the lens through which this issue is viewed is shifted. Real resolutions must be brought into focus for a problem so often swept under the rug, so rarely prevented due to limited access to funding, coverage or effective treatment.
Organizations all over the world are calling for this shift to mobilize the public, arming people with information designed to raise awareness and advocacy, to treat the crisis not as confined within the mental health community, but as one supported by broader social justice initiatives. With simple calls to action deployed through social media, more and more people are reminded that suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility.
As a suicide survivor, Kerry Martin, CEO and Founder of Hope Xchange Nonprofit, says, “Suicide is a public health crisis that goes beyond the mental health community. It is up to each and everyone of us to take responsibility and to be there when someone reaches out for help in order to prevent and reduce successful attempts and, ultimately, save lives. Our children, younger and younger, are ending their lives at heartbreaking rates. This initiative is a global rallying cry for those we have lost far too soon, and for those we can together save.”
Martin joins Eric Kussin (Founder, We Are All a Little “Crazy”, USA), Erin Macauley (COO, Suicide Shatters Families, Australia), Kaine Costello (Partnerships and Innovation, Everydayhero, Australia), Ivan Schwartz (Managing Director, Imagine Foundation, Australia) and Joe Williams (International Speaker and Founder, The Enemy Within, Australia), to create an international network that is changing the dialogue surrounding suicide.
The #SixtySecondChallenge kicked off September 10 (World Suicide Prevention Day) and is running through November 18, 2017 (International Survivors of Suicide Day).
More information can be found at: www.SixtySecondChallenge.com.
Editor’s note: For further information on statistics by available demographic (military, youth, women, LGBTQIA, general population), please contact Tim Wenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or