Speaking in Geneva ahead of World Suicide Prevention day, recognized on 10 September, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “every death is a tragedy for family, friends and colleagues,” yet many more suicides can be prevented.
Dr Ghebreyesus also stated that all countries should incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programmes in a sustainable way.
Since WHO’s first report on the issue was filed in 2014, the number of countries with national suicide prevention strategies has increased, and now stands at 38. However, this participation is still far too few and governments need to commit to establishing them.
Close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year, and for each death, there are more than 20 suicide attempts. Every year, suicide accounts for more deaths than war and homicide combined, and is the second leading cause of death among those aged 15-29, behind road injury, the health agency reports.
Globally, 79 per cent of suicides occur in low- and
middle-income countries, however high-income countries have the highest rates
of suicide. Incidents are three times higher among men than women in wealthier
countries, while these rates are more equal in poorer nations.