By Staff Writers
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday revealed that suicide claims a life every 40 seconds somewhere on the planet.
In almost every country, men are more likely than women to commit suicide.
Only in five countries — Bangladesh, China, Lesotho, Morocco and Myanmar — do women commit suicide at a higher rate than men.
Each year, on 10 September, the world marks World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD).
This day, which has been observed since 2003, is aimed at raising awareness on suicide and how to prevent it.
WHO said suicide could be prevented if countries could establish national suicide prevention strategies, which the world health body and other mental health advocacy groups have been calling for.
It said the total number of countries with strategies to prevent suicide are at just 38, which is still far too few and governments need to commit to establishing them.
“Despite progress, one person still dies every 40 seconds from suicide,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Every death is a tragedy for family, friends and colleagues. Yet suicides are preventable. We call on all countries to incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programmes in a sustainable way,” added Ghebreyesus.
In July, The Night’s Watch reported that Lesotho had the highest suicide rate in Africa, at 28.9 suicide rates per 100,000 people.
This was according to Africa Check, a non-partisan organisation which promotes accuracy in public debate and in the media.
On Monday, a day before World Suicide Prevention Day, WHO said suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years, after road injury.
Among teenagers aged 15-19 years, suicide was the second leading cause of death among girls (after maternal conditions) and the third leading cause of death in boys (after road injury and interpersonal violence).
The most common methods of suicide are hanging, pesticide self-poisoning, and firearms.
Key interventions that have shown success in reducing suicides, WHO said, are restricting access to means; educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide; implementing programmes among young people to build life skills that enable them to cope with life stresses; and early identification, management and follow-up of people at risk of suicide. NW