Saturday 11 July, 2020

WHO/PAHO call on countries to have suicide prevention plans

In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, the Pan American Health Organization has partnered with the World Health Organization to shed light on this mental health epidemic.

According to the WHO, the number of countries with national suicide prevention strategies has increased in five years since the publication of their first global report on suicide.

On World Suicide Prevention Day – September 10, the WHO says the total number of countries with strategies, at just 38, is still far too few and governments need to commit to establishing them.

“Despite progress, one person still dies every 40 seconds from suicide,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Every death is a tragedy for family, friends and colleagues.


The WHO thus seeks to educate the public that suicides, though tragic are preventable. They call on all countries to incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programmes in a sustainable way.

These prevention strategy programmes should include:

·         Early identification, management and follow-up of people at risk of suicide.

·         Guidelines for the media on informing and educating the public

·         Public stigma reduction

·         Training of health personnel, educators and police officers

·         Key interventions

·         Restricting access to means

·         Responsible and accurate reporting of suicide

·         The timely registration and regular monitoring of suicide at the national level

The Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization seek to remind the public that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years, after road injury. These organizations continue to work together for the benefit of a healthier world.

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