Countdown to World Suicide Prevention Day

  • Every year, almost one million people die from suicide; a “global” mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds.
  • In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 years in some countries, and the second leading cause of death in the 10-24 years age group; these figures do not include suicide attempts which are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicide.
  • Suicide worldwide is estimated to represent 1.8% of the total global burden of disease in 1998, and 2.4% in countries with market and former socialist economies in 2020.
  • Although traditionally suicide rates have been highest among the male elderly, rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of countries, in both developed and developing countries.
  • Mental disorders (particularly depression and alcohol use disorders) are a major risk factor for suicide in Europe and North America; however, in Asian countries impulsiveness plays an important role. Suicide is complex with psychological, social, biological, cultural and environmental factors involved.

-World Health Organization

It’s only four more days til World Suicide Prevention Day. I thought I’d at least get some facts about suicide in the next few days since this week is Suicide Prevention Week.

I will be bluntly honest; I tend to think that suicide could be a rational act. But I also know that most are and should be totally preventable. In the coming days, I hope I can at least start talking about how suicide prevention and awareness are much more complicated than handing someone a helpline number (though I’m not saying those aren’t important, because they really are). This topic is certainly not easy to bring up, but if I’m going to say something about it, it might as well be during Suicide Prevention Week.

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