Yellow September: dialogue about suicide is necessary

On September 10, the World Suicide Prevention Day is celebrated, that’s why, since 2015, the CVV (Center for the Valorization of Life) has led the Yellow September campaign, with the objective of bringing dialogue on this subject, which is still a taboo for society, raising awareness and preventing suicide.

To encourage the cause, during the month of September it is common to see public and private spaces decorated and / or illuminated with yellow color, such as the monuments: Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro / RJ, the National Congress and the Juscelino bridge Kubitschek in Brasília / DF, the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre / RS, the Cathedral and the Municipal Palace of Fortaleza / CE, Anita Garibaldi Bridge in Laguna / SC, and the Campo das Princesas Palace in Recife / PE.

Throughout the month, public and private spaces are decorated or illuminated in yellow.



In the world, approximately one person kills himself every 40 seconds. Only in Brazil, where suicide is the fourth most common cause of death among young people, about 17% of the population has already seriously considered suicide and 4.8% of them have already developed a plan for this.

The matter is avoided for fear that the numbers will increase even more. However, talking about suicide is important, as 90% of cases could be avoided with psychological help. Most of them are caused by mental illnesses that are not treated because, many times, the person doesn’t even know that he needs treatment. Approximately 60% of people who die by suicide do not seek help.



The Yellow September has as main objective to be a month to create conversations on the subject and let people who suffer with suicidal thoughts know that they are not alone and that death is not a solution.


How it came about

The yellow color is used because of Dale and Darlene Emme, parents of Mike Emme who in 1994, at the age of 17, killed himself. The boy, who had skills as a mechanic, restored a Mustang 68, painting it yellow, and became known for his work.

At his funeral, 500 yellow ribbon cards were distributed by his friends, with the following message: “If you need to, ask for help.”

Federal Senate, in Brasilia, illuminated in yellow.


Warning signs

There is no way to identify someone in a suicide crisis, however, as it is extremely rare for a suicide to occur without signs, attention is needed to detect certain warnings, such as:

-When a concern about death itself appears suddenly;

-Frequent comments like “I’m going to disappear”; “I wanted to never wake up again”; “I will leave you alone”; -Isolation, not answering phone calls or canceling events and activities that I used to enjoy doing;

-Discard personal and important objects

– Sudden tranquility: people who intend to continue with a suicide plan have the feeling that their problems will be solved, taking a heavy weight off their back.


How to help

If you notice any warning signs or someone nearby calls for help:

-Listen: let the person know that you are there to listen and support;

– Encourage seeking professional help. Offer company for consultation;

-Keep in touch and stay close;

-In case of crisis, seek an emergency professional.


CVV CVV provides emotional support and suicide prevention, attending voluntarily and free of charge to all people who want and need to talk, in complete secrecy by phone, email and chat 24 hours a day. Information can be obtained through the website or by calling 188.


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