More than 700 000 people die by suicide every year. Furthermore, for each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts, the World Health Organization has informed in a data released on occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day.
It may be noted that suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that impacts on families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies. Many families are emotionally, economically and socially devastated if a member dies by suicide.
However, suicides are preventable if timely interventions are initiated at individual, community and national levels.
The WHO has stated that for every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.
Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds.
“77% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries. Ingestion of pesticide, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally,” said the UN agency in a data.
There are a number of measures that can be taken at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts.
LIVE LIFE, WHO’s approach to suicide prevention, recommends key effective evidence-based interventions limit access to the means of suicide (e.g. pesticides, firearms, certain medications).
The interventions include interaction with the media for responsible reporting of suicide, fostering socio-emotional life skills in adolescents, early identify, assess, manage and follow up anyone who is affected by suicidal behaviours.
The WHO emphasized that these interventions need to go hand-in-hand with the following foundational pillars which are situation analysis, multisectoral collaboration, awareness raising, capacity building, financing, surveillance and monitoring and evaluation.