Imagine a world without suicide, we all have a role to play!

On the World Suicide Prevention Day, observed on September 10 every year, Students and Youth working on reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) brings young people together to share hope and promote preventative measures to reduce the number of suicides and suicides attempts in Zimbabwe and beyond.


“Creating Hope Through Action” is the triennial theme for the World Suicide Prevention Day since 2021. There are 14.1% suicide mortality rate (per 100,000 population) in Zimbabwe with suicide being counted as the 19th common cause of death. In Africa around 11 people per 100 000 per year die by suicide, higher than the global average of nine per 100 000 people. Associated risk factors for suicide include economic hardships, trauma or abuse, mental and substance use disorders, cultural gender expectations, migration, and barriers to accessing health care. Suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that impacts not only individuals but also families, communities, and societies.


On this day, SAYWHAT draws attention to this important public health issue, encourage all, family members, friends, co-workers, community members, educators, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, political officials, and governments – to take action to prevent suicide. Even though suicide is a very complex issue, we can always look out for others who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts and provide support and create a more caring society where people feel more comfortable in seeking help.


We all have a role to play, every day of the year. Create hope through action, connect with a support or community organisation. Volunteer, help spread their messages and become involved in activities that promote positive mental health and wellbeing or suicide prevention in your community. Let’s embrace our collective responsibility, champion hope, and take meaningful action to save lives. 


SAYWHAT recognises the crucial link between actions that everyone can take no matter how big or small to encourage hope and strengthening of suicide prevention. On the 8th of September SAYWHAT underwent a workplace mental health session with Nani Wellness Project. The session underscored the need to spread the message of hope, signalling to anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is someone who cares and wants to support them.


SAYWHAT remains committed to working with its partners and support risk groups such as young people. Open discussions on mental health especially in schools to reduce social stigma around suicide and promote self-empowerment that addresses self-harm are continuously being facilitated.


SAYWHAT implores responsible media reporting on suicide, dissemination of the message that suicide is preventable and implementation of prevention policies such as restricting access to means for suicide i.e., firearms and pesticides.


SAYWHAT encourages people contemplating or affected by suicide to share their stories and seek professional help. SAYWHAT Call Centre is open 24/7 – call toll free 577 if you or know someone who needs help.  Your story may inspire compassion, understanding, and ultimately, save lives.



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