The World Health Organization (WHO) reviewed its fact sheet on suicide recently.
More than 800,000 people die due to suicide every year.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds.
75% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
For every suicide there are many more people (more than 20) who attempt suicide every year.
Consumption of pesticide/ pesticide self-poisoning (30% of suicides), hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.
Suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions.
There is a link between suicides and mental ill-health. However, many suicides are the result of impulsive decisions in moments of crisis due to a breakdown in the ability to deal with life’s stresses.
In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, or loss and a sense of isolation are strongly associated with suicidal behaviour. Suicide rates are also high amongst vulnerable groups who experience discrimination.
A previous suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.
Measures to prevent suicides and suicide attempts include:
- “reducing access to the means of suicide (e.g. pesticides, firearms, certain medications);
- reporting by media in a responsible way;
- introducing alcohol policies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol;
- early identification, treatment and care of people with mental and substance use disorders, chronic pain and acute emotional distress;
- training of non-specialized health workers in the assessment and management of suicidal behaviour;
- follow-up care for people who attempted suicide and provision of community support.”
Stigma, particularly surrounding mental disorders and suicide, is a major challenge to suicide prevention. Raising community awareness and breaking down the taboo is important for countries to make progress in preventing suicide.
Link to the fact sheet on suicide:
Link to World Suicide Report “Preventing suicide: a global imperative” (2014) [Available in Multiple languages]:
Link to Key Messages of the World Suicide Report (English):
Link to Suicide Myths from the World Suicide Report (English):
Link to “Public Health Action for the Prevention of Suicide: A Framework”:
Link to Resource Series on Preventing Suicide (Available in Multiple languages):