WHO / SUICIDE

09-Sep-2019 00:02:31
Ahead of the World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September, a WHO mental health expert said, “Suicide is a serious public health problem. Globally, we estimate that there are around 800,000 deaths by suicide every year. This means there is a death from suicide every 40 seconds.” WHO
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STORY: WHO / SUICIDE
TRT: 2:31
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTION: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 09 SEPTEMBER 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE - RECENT – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1.Wide shot, exterior

09 SEPTEMBER 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, Dr Alexandra Fleischmann walking
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Alexandra Fleischmann walking, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Suicide is a serious public health problem. Globally, we estimate that there are around 800,000 deaths by suicide every year. This means there is a death from suicide every 40 seconds. So we really have to do something about it and address this serious problem.”
4. Med shot, Alexandra Fleischmann being interviewed
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Alexandra Fleischmann walking, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Pesticide suicides are in important issue because it is estimated that one fifth of all suicides are happening by self-ingestion with pesticides. This is an important issue particularly in low and middle income countries, in agricultural areas, where pesticides are readily available in the home of farmers. So in the situation of distress a person in an impulsive way may take the pesticide. However, we know that some people do not really want to die in this moment, and this is why it is important to reduce the access, the easily availability of the most deadly pesticides so that the person can be saved.”
6. Med shot, Alexandra Fleischmann being interviewed
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Alexandra Fleischmann walking, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization (WHO):
“It is always important with regard to suicide prevention that we have to listen to the people around us. We have to take it seriously when someone says they do not want to live any longer or they even very concretely say that they want to take their life. So WHO wants to give a message that is important to talk, and to listen to each other, to seek for help but also to offer help to others around us, and every one of us has a role to play in suicide prevention. So we all can offer to listen to the people around us in case they're in distress or they need help.”
7. Wide shot, Dr Alexandra Fleischmann walking
STORYLINE
The number of countries with national suicide prevention strategies has increased in the five years since the publication of WHO’s first global report on suicide, said the World Health Organization in the lead-up to World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September.

But the total number of countries with strategies, at just 38, is still far too few and governments need to commit to es tablishing them.

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Alexandra Fleischmann walking, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization (WHO):

“Suicide is a serious public health problem. Globally, we estimate that there are around 800,000 deaths by suicide every year. This means there is a death from suicide every 40 seconds. So we really have to do something about it and address this serious problem.”

The global age-standardized suicide rate for 2016 was 10.5 per 100 000. Rates varied widely, however, between countries, from 5 suicide deaths per 100 000, to more than 30 per 100 000. While 79 per cent of the world’s suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries, high-income countries had the highest rate, at 11.5 per 100 000. Nearly three times as many men as women die by suicide in high-income countries, in contrast to low- and middle-income countries, where the rate is more equal.

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 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.

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Alexandra Fleischmann walking, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Pesticide suicides are in important issue because it is estimated that one fifth of all suicides are happening by self-ingestion with pesticides. This is an important issue particularly in low and middle income countries, in agricultural areas, where pesticides are readily available in the home of farmers. So in the situation of distress a person in an impulsive way may take the pesticide. However, we know that some people do not really want to die in this moment, and this is why it is important to reduce the access, the easily availability of the most deadly pesticides so that the person can be saved.”

The intervention that has the most imminent potential to bring down the number of suicides is restricting access to pesticides that are used for self-poisoning. The high toxicity of many pesticides means that such suicide attempts often lead to death, particularly in situations where there is no antidote or where there are no medical facilities nearby.

As indicated in the WHO publication released today, Preventing suicide: a resource for pesticide registrars and regulators, there is now a growing body of international evidence indicating that regulations to prohibit the use of highly hazardous pesticides can lead to reductions in national suicide rates. The best-studied country is Sri Lanka, where a series of bans led to a 70 per cent fall in suicides and an estimated 93 000 lives saved between 1995 and 2015. In the Republic of Korea – where the herbicide paraquat accounted for the majority of pesticide suicide deaths in the 2000s – a ban on paraquat in 2011-2012 was followed by a halving of suicide deaths from pesticide poisoning between 2011 and 2013.

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Alexandra Fleischmann walking, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization (WHO):
“It is always important with regard to suicide prevention that we have to listen to the people around us. We have to take it seriously when someone says they do not want to live any longer or they even very concretely say that they want to take their life. So WHO wants to give a message that is important to talk, and to listen to each other, to seek for help but also to offer help to others around us, and every one of us has a role to play in suicide prevention. So we all can offer to listen to the people around us in case they're in distress or they need help.”

The timely registration and regular monitoring of suicide at the national level are the foundation of effective national suicide prevention strategies. Yet, only 80 of the 183 WHO Member States for which estimates were produced in 2016 had good quality vital registration data. Most of the countries without such data were low- and middle-income. Better surveillance will enable more effective suicide prevention strategies and more accurate reporting of progress towards global goals.

On 10 September, WHO, in collaboration with global partners, the World Federation for Mental Health, the International Association for Suicide Prevention and United for Global Mental Health, is launching the 40 seconds of action campaign. The culmination of the campaign will be on World Mental Health Day, 10 October, the focus of which is also suicide prevention this year.
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