United to make suicide prevention a priority: regional event

United to make suicide prevention a priority: regional event
United to make suicide prevention a priority: regional event

Join us on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (EDT) for our live regional event, United to make suicide prevention a priority. The live conversation aims to give a platform to two different experiences from Barbados and Chile with live audiences in each country and we want you to be part of it by joining online. The event is part of the activities for the observation of World Suicide Prevention Day -September 10- and will be held in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, and simultaneous translation will be available.

Register here

 How to participate

For those who are not able to join live, you can access the live stream directly from YouTube

 Live Broadcast


 Panelists and topics

The event will focus on the role of media in appropriate suicide reporting as an evidence-based strategy to reduce suicide in the Region without losing the focus on the theme “Creating Hope through Action”. We will hear about Barbados and Chile's experiences in the matter and the role of the media and social networks in supporting responsible information and thus supporting suicide prevention.


  1. Ms. Verónica Zúñiga (Moderator): Journalist and Head of Communications at the School of Public Health, of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Chile.
  2. Dr. Fernando Leanes: Representative of the Office of the PAHO in Chile.
  3. Dr. Olga Toro Devia: Director of the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for the Development of Services, Training, and Research in Mental Health, of the School of Public Health at the University of Chile.
  4. Mr. Patricio López: Director of Radio University of Chile.
  5. Ms. Nerea de Ugarte: Influencer. Psychologist. Member of the First Mental Health Advisory Council of the Ministry of Health of Chile.
  6. Mr. José Miguel Labrín: Director of the school of journalism at the University of Chile.


  1. Ms. Brenda Lashley: (Moderator): Information Systems Specialist & Communications Focal Point. PAHO, Bridgeton Barbados. 
  2. Dr. Amalia Del Riego: PAHO/WHO Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries.
  3. Ms. Rasheema Reeshemah Cheltenham-Niles: Director, Research and Planning Unit, MOHW.
  4. Mr. Pierre Cooke Jr: A Person with Lived Experience.
  5. Dr. Joy Sue: Consultant Psychiatrist. Mental Health Expert.
  6. Ms. Chelsea Jordon: Youth Advocate. VP of Operations, Let's Unpack It.


World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), celebrated annually on September 10th, is organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and is endorsed by PAHO/WHO. It represents a worldwide commitment to focus attention on suicide prevention and its theme is “Creating Hope through Action,” initiated in 2021 and is slated to conclude in 2023.

A high burden of mental health conditions, low treatment coverage, and rising suicide rates make mental health a serious public health problem in the Region of the Americas. The COVID‑19 pandemic has worsened the situation by increasing the prevalence of mental health conditions and disrupting essential mental health services. Other humanitarian emergencies, including migration, worsened by the global climate crisis, pose a significant threat to mental health.

Recent data show that each year, nearly 100,000 people die by suicide in the Region (an age-adjusted rate of 9 per 100,000 population), with significant variability among countries. Between 2000 and 2019, the regional suicide rate increased by 17%, making the Americas the only WHO region where suicide is rising.

This year WHO is updating the publication “Preventing Suicide: A Resource for Media Professionals: Update 2023”.

 Time in other cities

  • 7:00 am.– Los Angeles, Vancouver
  • 8:00 am. – Belmopan, Guatemala City,  Managua, Mexico City, San Jose (CR), San Salvador, Tegucigalpa
  • 9:00 am. – Bogota, Panamá City, Kingston, Lima, Quito
  • 10:00 am. – Asunción, Bridgetown, Caracas, Castries, Georgetown, Havana, La Paz, Nassau, Ottawa, Port-au-Prince, Port of Spain, San Juan, Santiago, Santo Domingo, Washington DC 
  • 11:00 am  –  Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Montevideo, Paramaribo
  • 4:00 p.m. – Geneva, Madrid

For other cities, check the local time in the following link.