Let’s Work Together to Prevent Suicide

Let’s Work Together to Prevent Suicide

Suicide affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds. Suicide is the 15th leading cause of death globally, accounts for 1.4 % of all deaths and the global suicide rate is 11.4 per 100 000 population. Self-harm largely occurs among older adolescents and globally is the second leading cause of death for older adolescent girls. According to a recent report, every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide.

Suicide is the result of a convergence of risk factors including but not limited to genetic, psychological, social and cultural risk factors, sometimes combined with experiences of trauma and loss. Depression is the most important case of all for suicide to happen. 50 % of individuals in high-income countries who die by suicide have the major depressive disorder at their time of death.

Yet, suicide can be prevented with proper education, awareness, counseling, and restriction of access to lethal means and treatment of psychiatric conditions. A better understanding of what suicide and suicidal tendencies are, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition and lead to more people seeking help.

As the leaders of the community, we are very responsible in this process to decrease the suicidal tendencies prevalent in our community and I do believe that our involvement in the campaign will lead to healthy and prosperous society and achieve the goals of WHO definition of health, i.e., state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of any disease or infirmity. That’s great because achieving campaign goals will only be possible if we work together!

Whether you work for the government, a non-governmental organization or a media outlet, whether you are a doctor, teacher, journalist, blogger, parent, a media person or simply someone who has heard about the campaign and would like to get involved, this is the proper time for all of us to act.

Achievements we must strive for

The overall goal must be such that more people with poor mental health conditions and suicidal tendencies, in our community, seek and get help from the experts and counselors.

More specifically, we must aim to achieve the following:

  • ·     The community leaders are better informed about suicide, its causes and possible consequences, and what help is or can be available for prevention;
  • ·     people with suicidal tendencies seek help; and
  • ·     family, friends, and colleagues of people showing warning signs that someone may be seriously thinking about suicide are able to provide support.

Warning signs that someone may be seriously thinking about suicide:

  • ·     Threatening to kill oneself.
  • ·     Saying things like “No-one will miss me when I am gone.”
  • ·     Looking for ways to kill oneself, such as seeking access to pesticides, firearms or medication, or browsing the Internet for means of taking one’s own life.
  • ·     Saying goodbye to close family members and friends, giving away of valued possessions, or writing a will.

We really need to break the silence on suicide and ensure special focus on our community- especially young people and adolescents. Family, community, and friends are the necessary presences in people’s lives that must give support, to confront life crises.

Overarching messages

  • ·      Suicidal tendency is a common mental disorder that affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries- especially young people.
  • ·      The risk of suicide is increased by poverty, unemployment, psychiatric conditions, stress from work, depression, life events such as the death of a loved one or a relationship break-up, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use.
  • ·      Suicide can be effectively prevented by proper awareness, education, counseling and treatment of Talking with people you trust can be a first step towards recovery from suicidal tendencies.

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