WHO; more effort needed to reduce suicides worldwide

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With more than 800,000 people dying each year as a result of suicide, the World Health Organisation is calling for coordinated action to reduce suicides worldwide.

WHO says only about 28 countries are known to have national suicide prevention strategies.

In its first global report on suicide prevention, WHO says reducing access to means of suicide such as guns and pesticides and improving access to mental health care are key to preventing people from taking their own lives.

The report is also calling for responsible reporting of suicide in the media, by avoiding language that sensationalizes suicide and explicit description of methods used.

Dr Shekhar Saxena is the Director, department of Mental health and Substance abuse at WHO.

"Suicides are more common among people who are more than 50 years of age, but it is also a significant cause for younger deaths. It is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds. Overall in the world more men commit suicide than women. However the messages in the report are more about the fact that Who believes that suicide is preventable. People talk about a high rate in some countries and low rate in another country. Our message is that no rate is acceptable. Every suicide is preventable and every country every community needs to take a step towards decreasing the rate wherever they might be."

The organisation is also calling for the decriminalization of suicide noting that the incarceration of individuals who have attempted to take their own lives is not an effective deterrent measure.

WHO member states  recently endorsed an action plan which seeks to reduce suicide rate by 10 per cent worldwide by 2020.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Geneva.

Duration 2.02″

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