Preventing suicide: A global imperative

I happened to be reading about suicide prevention and saw that the World Health Organisation had just published a new report on the impact of suicide internationally.

There key findings were:

  • Suicides take a high toll. Over 800 000 people die due to suicide every year and it is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.  There are indications that for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.
  • Suicides are preventable. For national responses to be effective, a comprehensive multi-sectoral suicide prevention strategy is needed.
  • Restricting access to the means for suicide works. An effective strategy for preventing suicides and suicide attempts is to restrict access to the most common means,  including pesticides, firearms and certain medications.
  • Health-care services need to incorporate suicide prevention as a core component. Mental disorders and harmful use of alcohol contribute to many suicides around the world. Early identification and effective management are key to ensuring that people receive the care they need.
  • Communities play a critical role in suicide prevention. They can provide social support to vulnerable individuals and engage in follow-up care, fight stigma and support those bereaved by suicide.

Australian statistics

Beyond Blue figures- about 2000 Australians die by suicide each year, and 65,000 attempt to.  Suicide is the leading cause of death in men under the age of 45 and women under 35, with at least six Australians taking their own lives every day. For every suicide, there are tragic ripple effects for friends, families, colleagues and the broader community.

The webpage for Beyond Blue is www.beyondblue.org.au.  The report from WHO called Preventing Suicide: A global imperative is linked here.

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