world suicide prevention day meaning, burden and statistics ~ Nursing Guru

world suicide prevention day meaning, burden and statistics

world suicide prevention day meaning, burden and statistics

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and celebrated on 10th September every year. India is a vast country with a population of 1.37 billion and China has 1.42 billion. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the suicide rate in 194 member countries 800,000 annual suicide deaths worldwide (one death every 40 seconds). Southeast Asia is at the forefront of providing the ambitious sustainable development goal of a one-third reduction in suicide mortality by 2030. 18% of the world's population lives in India, solving suicides in India is a global difference in the burden of suicides.

world suicide prevention day meaning, burden and statistics

History of world suicide prevention day

World Suicide Prevention Day was begun in 2003 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). The main goal is to strengthen the capabilities of different countries to formulate national policies for suicide prevention. It focuses on investigating suicidal behaviors and implements awareness programs. The target is to reduce the risk factors for suicide and strengthen the protective factor, especially during adolescence. World Suicide Prevention Day prioritizes the need to reduce mental health and increase the availability of mental health resources and also to reduce the barriers to obtaining care.

Theme of world suicide prevention day 2020

The theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 is "Working together to prevent suicide", which highlights the most essential aspect of effective global cooperation for suicide prevention, similar to last year's theme.

Aim of world suicide prevention day

The aim is to raise awareness among the public about the fact that suicide can be prevented. We all including family, friends, co-workers, community members, educators, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, political officials and governments have a role to play and together can act collectively to address the challenges posed by suicidal behavior in today's society. By raising awareness of the causes of suicide, suicide warning signs and caring for those in danger can help to prevent suicides.

Meaning of suicide

It is an act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of desperation or attributed to some underlying mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and alcoholism or drug abuse. Pressures or misfortunes, such as financial difficulties or problems with interpersonal relationships, often play a role.

Epidemiology / Suicide Burden

World suicide statistics

According to WHO about 800,000 people die by suicide each year. For every suicide there are many individual who attempt suicide each year. A previous suicide attempt is the most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.Suicide is the third leading reason or cause of death among 15-19 year age group. 79% of suicides worldwide occur in low- and middle-income countries.

National statistics of suicide

Number and percentage distribution of suicides in states / UTs

world suicide prevention day meaning, burden and statistics

Maharashtra (17,972) had the highest number of suicides, followed by Tamil Nadu at 13,896, West Bengal at 13,255, Madhya Pradesh at 11,775 and Karnataka at 11,561 with 13.4%, 10.3%, 9.9%, 8.8% and 8.6% of Total suicides respectively. These 5 states account for 50.9% of the total suicides recorded in the country. The remaining 49.1% committed suicide in the remaining 24 states and 7 UTs. The most populous state (16.9% of the country's population) Uttar Pradesh reported the lowest percentage of suicide deaths, at just 3.6%

Causes for suicide
world suicide prevention day meaning, burden and statistics

Family problems and illness are the leading causes of suicide, accounting for 30.4% and 17.7% of suicides in 2018, respectively.  Marital problems (6.2%), Drug abuse / addiction (5.3%), Love affairs (4.0%), Bankruptcy or debt (3.7%), Failing exams and Unemployment (2.0 each) %), Professional / Career Problem (1.3%) and Property Dispute (0.9%) were other causes of suicide

States with the highest share of suicides from 2016 to 2018

Delhi, the most populous UT, has the highest number of suicides (2,526) followed by Puducherry (500). Seven UTs together accounted for 2.6% of the total suicides in the country. In 2018, there were a total of 21,408 suicides in 53 mega cities across the country. States and UTs that reported a significant increase in suicides in 2017 and 2018 were Arunachal Pradesh (48.3%), Chandigarh (41.6%), D&N Haveli (34.7%), Himachal Pradesh (28.5%), Uttarakhand (27.2%) and Manipur (20.9%), Daman & Diu (14.6%), Puducherry (13.9%), Mizoram (13.2%), Sikkim (7.0%) and Goa (6.2%)

Who is at risk of suicide?

Although the link between suicide and mental disorders (especially depression and alcoholism) is well established in high-income countries, many suicides occur suddenly in moments of crisis, breaking down the ability to cope with life pressures such as financial Issues, relationship breakdown or constant pain and disease.

In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse or loss and a sense of loneliness are strongly associated with suicidal behavior. Suicide rates are also higher in vulnerable groups that experience discrimination, such as refugees and immigrants, Indigenous people, Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) individuals, and prisoners. The strongest risk factor for suicide is previous suicide attempt.

Common Methods of suicide

Taking pesticides, hanging and guns or firearms are the most common methods of suicide worldwide. It is estimated that 20% of global suicides are due to pesticide self-poisoning, the majority of which occur in rural agricultural areas in low and middle-income countries.

Warning Signs of Suicide

Some of these are warning signs: helplessness, uncontrolled anger, revenge, reckless behavior or engaging in dangerous activities, seemingly trapped with no way out, alcohol or drug use increased, separation from friends, family & community, anxiety, insomnia or sleeping all time and dramatic mood swings.

Prevention and control of suicide

Suicides are preventable. Many measures can be taken at the demographic, sub-demographic and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts. In addition to:

  1. Take one minute to contact someone in your community, such as a family member, friend, coworker, or stranger, can change the course of another's life.
  2. Take a minute to observe what is happening with you, your family, your friends and your co-workers.
  3. Take a minute to reach out and start a conversation if you notice anything different.
  4. Take a minute to find out what help is available to you and others.
  5. Sometimes people are hesitant to intervene out of fear of not knowing what to say. But there is no specific principle.
  6.  Empathy, compassion, genuine concern, resource knowledge and a desire to help are crucial in preventing a tragedy.
  7. Another factor that prevents people from interfering is making the situation worse. The offer of support and hearing is likely to reduce distress, as opposed to exacerbating it.
  8. Raising community awareness and breaking the down the taboo is important to make progress in preventing suicides.
  9. Community can provide social assistance to people who are vulnerable and participate in follow-up care, fight stigma and support those who have committed suicide.
  10. Reducing access to suicidal means (e.g. pesticides, guns, certain drugs)
  11. There should be school-based intervention
  12. Introducing alcohol policies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol
  13. Early identification, treatment and care of people with mental and substance abuse disorders, chronic pain and severe depression
  14. Training for health workers who do not specialize in the assessment and management of suicidal behavior
  15. Providing follow-up care and community assistance for people who have attempted suicide.
  16. Suicide is a complex issue, so suicide prevention efforts require coordination and cooperation between multiple sectors of society, including the health sector and other sectors such as education, labor, agriculture, business, justice, law, defense, politics and the media.
  17. These efforts must be comprehensive and integrated so that no single approach can have an impact on a complex issue such as suicide.

Challenges and barriers to prevent suicide

  1. Stigma, especially around mental disorders and suicide, means that many people are thinking of taking their own lives or those who have attempted suicide are not asking for help and therefore not getting the help they need.
  2. Suicide prevention has not been adequately addressed due to lack of awareness about suicide as a major public health problem and a ban on public discussion in many societies.
  3. To date, only a few countries have included suicide prevention in their health priorities and only a few countries have reported a national suicide prevention strategy.
  4. Raising community awareness and breaking the taboo is crucial for countries to make progress in preventing suicides.
  5. Worldwide, data availability and quality data on suicide and suicide attempts are low.
  6. Only 80 member countries have good-quality key registration data that can be used directly to estimate suicide rates.

World Health Organization response on suicide

The World Health Organization recognizes suicide as a public health priority. The first WHO World Suicide Report, published in 2014, aims to raise awareness on the public health importance of suicide and suicide attempts and to make suicide prevention a high priority on the World Public Health Agenda.

 Mental Health Gap Action Program (MHGAP) launched in 2008 that provides evidence based technical guidance to enhance service facilities and care in countries for mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders.

Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020, WHO Member States are committed to working towards the global goal of reducing suicide rates in countries by 10% by 2020.

Furthermore, the suicide mortality rate is an indicator of the Sustainable Development Goals of 3.4 by 2030; prevention and treatment will reduce premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases by a third and promote mental health and well-being.


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