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WHO calls for coordinated action to reduce suicides worldwide

5 September 2014 22:30
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WHO calls for coordinated action to reduce suicides worldwide

GENEVA. KAZINFORM - Over 800,000 people die by suicide every year, with 75 percent of suicides occurring in low and middle-income countries, said the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday in its first global report on suicide prevention.

The report, titled Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative, stressed the severity of suicide, noting it as a global phenomenon occurring all over the world and at almost any age.

"This report is a call for action to address a large public health problem which has been shrouded in taboo for far too long," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a statement.

According to the report, by gender, generally more men die by suicide than women, and by age, suicide rates are highest in people aged 70 years and over. Figures showed suicide is the second-leading cause of death in 15 to 29-year-olds globally.

In richer countries, three times as many men die by suicide than women, with men aged above 50 being particularly vulnerable, while in low and middle-income countries, young adults and elderly women have higher rates of suicide than their counterparts in high-income countries.

Pesticide poisoning, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally, said the report, adding that certain evidence showed that limiting access to these means can help prevent people dying by suicide.

Other effective measures include responsible reporting of suicide in the media such as avoiding explicit description of methods used. Early identification and management of mental and substance use disorders in communities, by health workers in particular, were also important, the report said.

Key to reducing suicide deaths is a commitment by national governments to establishing and implementing a coordinated plan of action, the report highlighted.

Only 28 countries at present are known to have national suicide prevention strategies.

The latest report was launched a week before World Suicide Prevention Day that is observed on Sept. 10 every year to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention around the world, Xinhua informs.

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