The World Health Organisation revealed the statistics relating to suicide worldwide during a presentation in Geneva. One person commits suicide every 40 seconds around the globe. The report also exposed the fact that men tend to be more prone to killing themselves than women, with the ratio varying from country to country. The director-general of WHO affirmed that this global health problem should be actively dealt with now that the situation has reached such an alarming level.
More than 800 000 people commit suicide per year
All around the world, one suicide is committed every 40 seconds. That’s how tragic the situation has come to be – at this rate, more than 800 000 people take their own lives per year. A report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed this frightening trend of suicide cases. The research that culminated to this information was done over a period of ten years, whereby suicide data from 172 countries were analysed.
The drastic situation implies that more people lose their lives at their own hands than people die of conflicts and natural calamities. More than 50 % of the 1.5 million deaths as a result of great violence worldwide are, in fact, suicides.
Suicide regarded as taboo
The organisation outspokenly blamed the authorities for not having adequately dealt with the situation such that what could have been prevented was not. WHO’s director-general, Dr. Margaret Chan, described suicide as a “public health problem” which constitutes great taboo in our societies.
Men more prone to taking their own lives
The research shed light on certain aspects and factors relating to the subject at hand. The estimations showed that males were twice more likely to kill their own selves than their female counterparts. In some affluent countries, there were thrice as many men killin themselves than women. Richer countries also had a slightly higher suicide rate than low- and middle-income ones.
Globally, people of 70 years of age and above had the highest suicide rates. However, other countries had more young people taking to suicidal ways.
Worldwide, suicide was seen to be the second leading cause of death for people from 15 to 29 years of age.
Highly-mediatised celebrity suicides exacerbate the situation
The report included the mention of Robin Williams, celebrity who recently committed suicide. The case was extremely mediatised, and possibly, this renders fighting the problem more difficult – some people might follow in the steps of the famous personality.
Challenge of reaching out to isolated groups
Another difficulty encountered in tackling the problem of suicide is the inaccessibility of a portion of the population who are more likely to commit suicide. For instance, marginalised groups often have several suicide victims and reaching out to them is challenging enough.
Method of suicide
The three main ways people worldwide have resorted to to end their lives were the consumption of pesticides, hanging, and the use of firearms. Perhaps, the situation could be improved if access to these means were to be restricted.