800,000 people commit suicide every year, WHO gives details

Garima Bora


800,000 people commit suicide every year, WHO gives details

11 Sep 2018: 800,000 people commit suicide every year, WHO gives details

Nearly 800,000 people commit suicide every year in the world, the second leading cause of death amongst people aged 15 to 29 in 2016, according to the WHO.

A toolkit to help communities prevent suicides was released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada on the World Suicide Prevention Day yesterday.

Here's more.

Details: Most of the suicides occur in low/middle-income countries

Suicides happen in all the countries and regions, whether rich or poor. However, most of them occur in low/middle-income countries, which accounted for almost four-fifths of global suicides in 2016.

There are indications that for each adult who dies of suicide there may be more than 20 others attempting suicide, the document warned.

"The impact on families, friends, and communities is devastating," it said.

Suicide methods: Here are details of common suicide methods, don't use them

The method used for 20% of the global suicides is self-poisoning, mostly occurring in rural agricultural areas in low/middle-income countries.

Other common methods of suicide are hanging and firearms, the document said.

In high-income countries, there is a well-established link between suicide and mental health issues like depression and alcohol use disorders, but many suicides take place on an impulse during moments of crisis.

Fact: Toolkit highlights ways to prevent suicides

The toolkit outlines ways to prevent this serious public health problem, one of which is knowledge of the most commonly used methods and restrictions of access to these methods. Other examples include policies to limit alcohol and drug-abuse and follow-up care for attempted suicide cases.

Help: Document explains how different sectors of society need to help

The document explains that other than the health sector, many sectors of society need to be involved in preventing suicide, including education, labor, agriculture and the media.

People commit suicide at all times of their lives, and each one, the report states, is a tragedy that affects families, communities, and the countries, and leaves behind long-lasting effects.

A Taboo: Suicide is considered a taboo in some countries

In many countries, suicide remains a taboo subject, the WHO report said, adding that this can prevent those who have attempted suicide from getting the help they need.

To date, only a few countries have included suicide prevention among their health priorities and only about 38 countries in the world report having a national suicide prevention strategy, the document added.