Step Up suicide Prevention Efforts – WHO On World Suicide Prevention Day 2021

Security officials on a suicide spot in Kigali last month. Who is concerned by the increasing number of suicide cases while the world does not seem to care that much

The World Health Organization (WHO) says countries ‘should not and must not’ ignore suicide because each one is a tragedy.

October 10, the world celebrates the World Suicide Prevention Day and this year, the theme is “creating hope through action.”

On this day, the world remember those lives lost to suicide and commits to connect with those who are struggling. Communities, governments,  and organizations on this day are encouraged to work together to prevent suicide.

“We cannot – and must not – ignore suicide, each one is a tragedy,” Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

 “Our attention to suicide prevention is even more important now, after many months living with the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of the risk factors for suicide ̶job loss, financial stress and social isolation–still very much present,” Ghebreyesus said.

According to the WHO reports, suicide often occurs in a moment of unbearable pain or deep despair.

The report adds that many individuals with mental health needs are overcome with a sense of overwhelming hopelessness, and feel they have nowhere to turn.

WHO says suicide is a serious public health problem, but can be preventable.

As per WHO reports, every 40 seconds there is someone who commits suicide worldwide. The report further indicates that about 800,000 people die due to suicide, every year.

WHO describes suicide as a complex psychological, cultural and social problem with no one specific cause-effect. However, it says, the risk factors can range from mental health problems, financial burden, poverty, trauma, abuse and unemployment.

Other factors include discrimination, emotional distress, crisis in one’s life, chronic physical illnesses, lack of support, no access to healthcare, among others.

WHO has warned that media reports of suicide can lead to a rise in suicide due to imitation (also known as copycat suicides), especially if the report is about a celebrity or describes the method of suicide.




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