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World Suicide Prevention Day 2015: Raise awareness and reduce stigma, says WHO


On the eve of the World Suicide Prevention Day 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) today called for collective efforts to raise awareness about suicide and reduce the stigma associated with it.

At the individual level, early identification of mental disorders and appropriate management and recognition of suicidal behaviours is helpful. Large-scale advocacy efforts are required to reduce the stigma related to suicides.

“The World Suicide Prevention Day is a call for action by countries, organisations, communities and individuals for joint action to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Region today in a statement.

Suicide needs attention as a public health problem not only because of the huge social and emotional burden it has on the family and society, but also because of the scope of prevention that it presents.

“Suicide is preventable with timely, evidence-based low-cost interventions. Measures can be taken at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts,” Singh said.

Every 40 seconds a person commits suicide somewhere in the world. Every year more than 800 000 deaths are caused by suicide and there are several other attempted suicide cases. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds globally.

The WHO South-East Asia Region contributes to 39 per cent of global suicides. Suicide in the Region is mainly a problem of the younger age groups, said the statement.

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