Several reports and surveys say that suicide kills more people than war, homicide, HIV, malaria, or breast cancer has. WHO has found out that 1/100 deaths are due to suicide and wants to reduce the rate to 1/3 by 2030.
Who Commits Suicide?
Suicide is not an impulsive decision. Suicidal people may or may not show any symptoms that can lead us into thinking they are about to commit suicide. People commit suicide for various reasons:
- Substance abuse
- Chronic disease/ disability
- Mental Illness
- Fear or hopelessness
- Seeking attention or help
- Social isolation or feeling like a burden on others
Which Age Group Commits Suicide Mostly?
People who are between the age group of 15-39 years are known to commit suicide. Few other facts about suicidal deaths are:
- South Africa, Europe, and South East Asia have the highest suicide rates
- East Mediterranean has the lowest suicide rates
- The US is rising rapidly in teen suicide rates
- Late spring and early summer sees the highest rates of suicide in comparison to other days
- Schizophrenia, drugs, and alcohol are the main causes of suicide in teenagers and young adults.
- The increased depression, stress, health, and financial crisis are posing severe threats to mental health in recent years.
- Men commit suicide twice as much as women
- Global suicide rates decreased by 36% while it increased 17% in America during 2000-2019
Why Is Suicide Prevention Important?
“While a comprehensive national suicide prevention strategy should be the ultimate goal for all governments,” said Alexandra Fleischmann, suicide prevention expert at the World Health Organization, “starting suicide prevention with LIVE LIFE interventions can save lives and prevent the heartbreak that follows for those left behind.”
Around 38 countries have committed with WHO to bring these rates down by implementing national suicide prevention strategies while too many countries have still not placed suicide prevention as a high priority on their agenda given other currently prevailing problems.
Suicide doesn’t mean just one less human on earth, its impacts are far more severe than imaginable. A few reasons why suicide can affect the country are:
- The cost of investigating a suicide such as payments for police, forensic, and fire department services, post mortem and funeral director charges, and victim support can fall heavy on the countries economy if suicide rates increase.
- Hospital charges like ambulance, emergency services, and others could affect insurance companies or the government’s contribution to free health services.
- The individuals’ contribution to society is cut short. Thus, it can affect the GDP and growth index of the country.
WHO’s Effort On Preventing Suicide
WHO has advised to take up its LIVE LIFE approach as a guidance strategy to prevent suicide. This approach concentrates on:
- “Limiting access to the means of suicide, such as highly hazardous pesticides and firearms;
- Educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide;
- Fostering socio-emotional life skills in adolescents; and
- Early identification, assessment, management, and follow-up of anyone affected by suicidal thoughts and behavior.”
Pesticide poisoning, suicide triggers such as media or movie representations are the top causes for suicide. While bullying and symptoms of suicidal people should be attended to foremost.
WHO also recommends parents educate their children on how to act when their friends or family members talk about suicide or self-harm to prevent them from getting the wrong idea.