Preventing suicide: A global imperative

Preventing suicide: A global imperativeThis report published by the World Health Organisation aims to increase awareness of the public health significance of suicide and suicide attempts and to strengthen comprehensive suicide prevention strategies.

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Key messages

  • Suicides take a high toll. Over 800 000 people die due to suicide every year and it is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. There are indications that for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.
  • Suicides are preventable. For national responses to be effective, a comprehensive multisectoral suicide prevention strategy is needed.
  • Restricting access to the means for suicide works. An effective strategy for preventing suicides and suicide attempts is to restrict access to the most common means, including pesticides, firearms and certain medications.
  • Health-care services need to incorporate suicide prevention as a core component. Mental disorders and harmful use of alcohol contribute to many suicides around the world. Early identification and effective management are key to ensuring that people receive the care they need.
  • Communities play a critical role in suicide prevention. They can provide social support to vulnerable individuals and engage in follow-up care, fight stigma and support those bereaved by suicide.