On This Day … 01 March

Events

  • Self-injury Awareness Day.
  • Zero Discrimination Day.

Self-Injury Awareness Day

Self-injury Awareness Day (SIAD) (also known as Self-Harm Awareness Day) is a grassroots annual global awareness event/campaign on 01 March, where on this day, and in the weeks leading up to it and after, some people choose to be more open about their own self-harm, and awareness organisations make special efforts to raise awareness about self-harm and self-injury. Some people wear an orange awareness ribbon, write “LOVE” on their arms, draw a butterfly on their wrists in awareness of “the Butterfly Project” wristband or beaded bracelet to encourage awareness of self-harm. The goal of the people who observe SIAD is to break down the common stereotypes surrounding self-harm and to educate medical professionals about the condition.

Background

Depression and self-harm often go hand-in-hand, though there are many other reasons people self-harm. As many as two million Americans currently engage in self-harm, with methods like cutting, scratching, bruising, and hitting themselves, along with other more harmful methods. It’s said that these behaviours promote feelings of control and help relieve tension, while helping the person express their emotions and escape the numbness that accompanies depression.

SIAD was created to spread awareness and understanding of self-injury, which is often misrepresented and misunderstood in the mainstream. Those who self-harm are often left feeling alone and afraid to reach out for help because they fear they’ll be seen as “crazy.”

Participating Organisations

Many organizations are now getting involved in SIAD. Some of them include:

  • Sociedad Internacional de Autolesión.
  • LifeSIGNS (Self-Injury Guidance & Network Support).
  • Self-Injury Foundation.
  • YoungMinds.
  • ChildLine.
  • The Mix.
  • Adolescent Self-Injury Foundation.
  • Cars for Hope.

Zero Discrimination Day

Zero Discrimination Day is an annual day celebrated by the United Nations (UN) and other international organisations. The day aims to promote equality before the law and in practice throughout all of the member countries of the UN. The day was first celebrated on 01 March 2014, and was launched by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé on 27 February of that year with a major event in Beijing.

In February 2017, UNAIDS called on people to “make some noise around zero discrimination, to speak up and prevent discrimination from standing in the way of achieving ambitions, goals and dreams.”

The day is particularly noted by organisations like UNAIDS that combat discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. “HIV related stigma and discrimination is pervasive and exists in almost every part of the world including our Liberia”, according to Dr. Ivan F. Camanor, Chairman of the National AIDS Commission of Liberia. The UN Development Programme also paid tribute in 2017 to LGBTI people with HIV/AIDS who face discrimination.

Campaigners in India have used this day to speak out against laws making discrimination against the LGBTI community more likely, especially during the previous campaign to repeal the law (Indian Penal Code, s377) that used to criminalise homosexuality in that country, before that law was overturned by the Indian Supreme Court in September 2018.

In 2015, Armenian Americans in California held a ‘die-in’ on Zero Discrimination Day to remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

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