The Original Colombian Suicide Prevention Campaign

The campaign, which was just relaunched on September 10, was to ask the whole country, all Colombians, If they were considering suicide (“Have you thought about killing yourself?”)Residents and psychiatry students took to the streets in a suicide prevention day that involved asking a simple, straightforward question that could save lives.

This campaign was created by an advertiser Luis Miguel Ortijo, based on my own experience dealing with anxiety and depression, and a new approach that suggests that “it” needs to be discussed. First released on September 8, 2019 world suicide prevention dayand jointly between Colombian Psychiatric Association (ACP) and Ministry of Health and Social Protection of this country, published a series of actions to “stop suicidal behavior, make it a topic of conversation and encourage psychiatric visits”.

September 1st First Latin American summit on mental health and its impact on other illnesses, In Cartagena, Colombia, Dr. Andrea Otero-Ospina, President of the Colombian Psychiatric Association, and Gisele Medina Ruizo, CPA’s organizational communicator, explained the rationale behind the campaign and its positive results, including increased consultations with experts and youth emergency appeals. The hashtag had 60 million replies #PreventIsAsk,

Campaign of the Colombian Psychiatric Association

Encourage asking a simple, straightforward question – “Have you thought about killing yourself?” The basic idea of ​​this campaign was But it was not easy to explain to the actors concerned: companies, universities, mayors, governments, learned societies, media and influencers. The idea that the subject should not be discussed is deeply rooted in the stigma of mental illness.

Although the fight against suicide may not be limited to the field of psychiatry, the truth is that More than 90% of suicides are caused by a mental disorder Underlying, explained by Dr. Otero, and listed: anxiety, depression, substance abuse, personality disorders, childhood trauma, etc. Hence the importance of counseling and diagnosis. And that’s one of the strengths. There is a reluctance to seek psychiatric advice and therefore there is a need to lift the taboo, talk about mental illness and offer explanations to reduce the shame that usually prevents advice.

Less than half of patients receive treatment, experts say; There are myths about the drug: that it is addictive, that it has many side effects, among others. “We love the meditation and the coaches and all that, but When it comes to depression, yoga doesn’t save a patient’s life“, They said.

“Suicide is preventable, mental illness can and should be discussed, should be treated with professionals,” Dr. Otero said.

The suicide prevention campaign resumed on September 10 by the Colombian Psychiatric Association and that country's Ministry of Health
The suicide prevention campaign resumed on September 10 by the Colombian Psychiatric Association and that country’s Ministry of Health

On the CPA’s Twitter account, after the main question, the text read: “You have taken a very important step and admit that you have thought about killing yourself. You are not alone and not as much as you think. More people thought that way. But they managed to find peace of mind with professional help.

Follow a long list of places to go with your respective contacts.

About 800,000 people commit suicide each year worldwide. It is the second leading cause of death in the 14 to 29 age group. For each suicide, there are 120 people who will be affected to varying degrees, including: family, friends, loved ones, acquaintances…

CPA members stressed the importance of teamwork, of creating safe environments at home and in public, of training those likely to intervene: teachers, police officers, etc., as well as training of general practitioners. Do what they usually face. With these cases in the first place.

The suicide prevention campaign resumed on September 10 by the Colombian Psychiatric Association and that country's Ministry of Health
The suicide prevention campaign resumed on September 10 by the Colombian Psychiatric Association and that country’s Ministry of Health

Taking a sensible approach to the problem can lead to results contrary to what is said Wether effectO! Copy (taken from the name of a character in a Goethe novel who commits suicide out of love despair), that is to say, it is forbidden to ask, to speak and to sympathize: this is called papajeno effect, Also alluding to a fictional character, one of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”, whose planned suicide is prevented by three children (three child geniuses).

Responsible communication in the media is also essential. Fake suicides are common, especially when it comes to a famous person.

For this reason, appropriate information should be disseminated, not underlined or repeated, without using sensationalist or generic language, without detailing methods, talking about prevention and providing data on where to seek help. Stock.

United KingdomThe suicide prevention campaign follows very similar lines. had been named “The Last Picture” And by showing images of people just before they commit suicide, she wants to warn that there are not always visible warning signs. Therefore, it is encouraged that people become aware that these deaths can be prevented by talking more about the subject, as it may help the person to seek help.

continue reading:

Neither stigma nor denial: how to call things by their name in the field of mental health?

Depression is a mental illness: how to spot the signs to help those who suffer from it