In the first report on Suicide Prevention by WHO, global action is called for so that there is reduction in 800,000 deaths that happen due to suicide each year, 3 quarters of them in middle and low-income countries. As per the UN health agency, it is possible to prevent suicide and it can be tackled effectively if all the sectors work together under a national strategy.
The release of the report was announced on Thursday in Geneva and Dr. Margaret Chan, the director of WHO stated that this report is a call for action for addressing a large problem of public health which has been shrouded in taboo for long. The problem of suicide is global and it takes place at any age. Although the rates are highest among people aged 70 and above, suicide is the second leading cause of death in younger people aged between 15-29.
The key message is that suicide can be prevented. It is a myth that if a person has suicidal thoughts, they would remain like this for life.
Heightened suicide risk is often situation specific and short-term. Although there is a tendency of suicidal thoughts returning, they aren’t permanent and individuals having suicidal attempts and thoughts previously can definitely live a long life. As per the evidence from several countries, it is suggested that if access to means that is used by people for committing suicide is limited, it can be stopped. Some most common means include use of firearms, hanging and pesticide poisons. As per the report of WHO, another important way of reducing deaths by suicide is to have a national coordinated action plan, which has been adopted only by 28 countries.