Suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 29 and for every suicide that results in death, there are as many as 40 attempted suicides. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) every 40 seconds, someone takes their own life, that’s about 800,000 people worldwide every year. Some statistics have also put this figure at about 1 million annually. Moreover, 77% of suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2019 according to WHO statistics.
Depression has accounted for 1.3% of deaths worldwide, making it the 17th leading cause of death in 2019 for people aged 15-29. Self–slaughter was the fourth leading cause of death. Suicide is much more prevalent among men (12.6 per 100,000 males compared to 5.4 per 100,000 females)
As we celebrate the World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on September 10th, we are reminded of this day’s commitment which is to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicide. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) has since 2003 collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) to host World Suicide Prevention Day
The initial goal was to amplify the message that “suicide is preventable.” Over the years, though, World Suicide Prevention Day has grown and evolved and it aims at;
- Raise awareness that suicide is preventable.
- Improve education about suicide.
- Spread information about suicide awareness.
- Decrease stigmatization regarding suicide
Types of Suicides
Emile Durkheim, a French Sociologist identifies four different types of suicide as highlighted below.
Egoistic suicide. It stems from the absence of social integration. It is committed by individuals who see themselves as being alone or outsiders. These individuals are unable to find their own place in society and have problems adjusting to groups. They received little and no social care.
Altruistic suicide is when social group involvement is too high, expectation from a group is being met at a very high level such as a sacrifice for a cult or religion. An example would be a suicide bomber.
Anomic suicide This kind of suicide is carried out during periods of considerable stress and frustration. A good example would be great financial loss or when the financial market that person controls collapse with severe consequences for many involved.
Fatalistic suicide is when people are kept under tight regulation in countries. Where there is an extreme rule and order or high expectations set upon a person or people in which leads them to a sense of no self or individuality.
Causes of Suicide
Suicide is not a one-night thing but starts with mixed thoughts in the mind and various causes include.
- Mental problem which is the major cause of suicide.
- Bullying or discrimination, where one feels left out in different aspects of life may include discrimination of gender, tribe, or skin tone.
- Domestic abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Loneliness, feeling inadequate and identity crisis
Despite there being risks of suicidal actions, there is hope of saving lives. Efforts should be put in place to prevent suicide and these efforts occur at an individual level, community level, and society level.
- Reducing risk factors for suicide such as poverty and social vulnerability.
- By taking care of the welfare of those we are close to
- By sharing our mental health stories, raising awareness and taking actionable steps in our local communities
- Seeking help from a counsellor
In conclusion, World Suicide Prevention Day reinforces the idea of suicide prevention by providing resources and actionable steps. For this reason, we can prevent suicide which is the leading cause of many deaths. Suicide is real and we should be at the forefront to tackle it where possible.
Finally, let’s encourage people to open up as opposed to letting them ail deep down for lack of moral support. Let’s preach mental health all around including all social media platforms. In the event one feels depressed, it is advisable to talk to someone they are comfortable with, a friend, relative or a stranger.0