World Suicide Prevention Day "Creating Hope Through Action"


"Creating Hope Through Action" is the theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2021-2023. Let us learn more about suicide prevention and find hopes for people in need.


Studies have found that:

  • talking about suicide DOES NOT increase others’ motivation to commit suicide
  • properly asking about suicidal thoughts and related behaviour may RELIEVE the person’s mental distress


Most suicidal persons:

  • have experienced major life stress events or lost some very important people and things (for example, loss of close relatives, lovers or health, etc.)
  • suffer from severe mental distress and emotional pain


Some common warning signs of suicides:


  • Mood
    • ­Depressed, guilt, anxious, etc.
    • ­Unexpected or drastic changes, such as usually cheerful ones become sad


  • Behaviours
    • ­Loss of interest in favourites, usually silent
    • Withdrawal from relatives and friends, isolate oneself
    • ­Giving beloved items to others or entrust others to fulfil their hopes
    • ­Searching for information and ways of suicide


  • Bodily
    • Significant changes in appetite and weight
    • Tiredness, lags in response
    • ­Poor sleep quality, e.g., insomnia or over sleep


  • Thoughts
    • Negative thoughts, e.g., feeling useless, helpless, hopeless
    • Express suicidal thoughts in words or on social media


Some people want to persuade others not to commit suicide, but their use of words may make people feel rejected and more uncomfortable. For example:

  • X “Someone is much worse than you are”
  • X “You are avoiding the problem”
  • X “You need to take care of others, instead of just focusing on yourself”


Try to say:

  • “I understand you are really sad”
  • “It must be very hard for you to bear the problem for so long”
  • “Let’s talk slowly and find some way out”


How to help?


  • Take initiative to open up the topic, enable them to express the suppressed distress.
  • Empathically, listen to their difficulties and feelings in their position, give kind support and relieve their distress.
  • After alleviating their distress, find solutions with them together.
  • ­For more difficult problems, encourage or accompany them to seek professional assistance.
  • For emergency, immediately call 999 for emergency services, or go to the Accident and Emergency Department at a nearby hospital.


24-hour Emergency Hotlines:


  • Hospital Authority (Mental Health Direct): 2466 7350
  • Social Welfare Department (Hotline Service): 2343 2255
  • Suicide Prevention Services (Hotline Service): 2382 0000
  • The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong (Hotline Service): 2389 2222
  • The Samaritans (Multi-Lingual Suicide Prevention Services): 2896 0000
  • Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre (Hotline Service (Family Crisis)): 18288
  • Justone Community Mental Health, Support Project, Richmond Fellowship of Hong Kong (Hotline Service): 3512 2626


For more information, please visit the featured topic “World Suicide Prevention Day”:


Produced in 2021