Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day

‘Working Together To Prevent Suicide,’ the positive message chosen this year by the World Health Organization, is the 2021 campaign theme to reach those who may be contemplating suicide before it is too late.

SHOW LOW — Friday, Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention day. Over 60 countries will participate. The theme this year, created by the World Health Organization, is “Working Together To Prevent Suicide.”

The ongoing commitment of the annual event is to reach those who are suffering before it is too late. Anyone can show their support by lighting a candle and placing it in a window at 8 p.m. as well as joining a virtual ceremony.

EMPACT-SPC, an Arizona suicide prevention center with six locations in Arizona, will be hosting a Virtual Candlelight ceremony via Zoom which will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 10. At 8 p.m. participants will be invited to light a candle as a symbol of

support for suicide prevention and to remember those that have been lost to suicide.

Join the Zoom meeting at:

The meeting ID is: 983 1147 7016

The passcode is: 345105

Apache and Navajo counties are among the state’s highest poverty rates and lowest high school and college graduation rates. Those statistics are strongly associated with higher suicide rates.

The suicide rate in Arizona in 2019 was 18 per 100,000. That compares to 44 per 100,000 in Navajo County and 33 per 100,000 in Apache County.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that Native American communities have a suicide rate that is 2.5% higher than the national average

According to a 2020 report on suicide by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), in 2019 more Arizonans died of suicide (1,411) than motor vehicle crashes (970) and homicides (409), making suicide the leading cause of violent death in Arizona for that year.

The 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey — administered every two years — found that 41% of Arizona high school students reported feeling “sad or hopeless” for more than two weeks in a row in the past year — compared to a national average of 35%.

Last year the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) warned that the pandemic would likely have a mental health impact on all individuals.

Pandemic issues such a joblessness, evictions, food insecurity and other economic issues are all associated with a rise in suicide. Add to that a loss medical insurance, inability to seek mental health support, isolation, social distancing and inability to participate in regular activities are also risk factors for depression and suicide.

Anyone needing help with depression or hopelessness, or contemplating suicide can reach out to:

Arizona Crisis Helpline for Apache and Navajo Counties: 1-877-756-4090

NAMI White Mountains in Lakeside (918) 298-1914, serves Navajo and Apache Counties, non Tribal areas; Website:

National Suicide Prevention Hotlines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Lifeline in Spanish – 1-888-628-9454

Veterans Crisis Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and Press 1 or Text message to 838255

Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741

Teen Lifeline 1-800-248-TEEN (8336)

The Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386 (Youth who identify as LGBTQ)

Safe Call Now (206) 459-3020 (First Responders)

Reach the reporter at

Barbara Bruce is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering arts and entertainment on the Mountain and the Pinetop-Lakeside town government.

(1) comment


Thank you for this article. Sad statistics. Suicide survivor.

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