(Symbolic file photo)
KATHMANDU: The World Suicide Prevention Day is being observed across the globe on Tuesday with the theme ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide”.
The day is marked to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides and to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which means a person every 40 seconds. Suicide is a global phenomenon and occurs everywhere.
Nearly 3000 people on average commit suicide daily, according to WHO. While a person committing suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. About one million people commit suicide each year.
Globally, 79 percent of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries, however, high-income countries have the highest rates of suicide. Incidents are three times higher among men than women in wealthier countries, while these rates are more equal in poorer nations.
The report finds the highest number of suicides – 79 percent – are in low-and medium-income countries, while suicide rates are highest in the richer countries.
Addressing causes, the link between suicide and mental health in well-established in high-income countries, however “many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis”, according to the WHO.
“Suicides are preventable,” said the WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We call on all countries to incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programs.”
The WHO pointed to studies in Sri Lanka, where bans on pesticides have led to a 70% drop in suicides and an estimated 93,000 lives saved between 1995 and 2015.
Likewise, suicide cases in Nepal are increasing, they will continue to rise until the government makes mental health issue a priority, experts said.
As per the report provided by the police, a total of 4,332 people committed suicide in the fiscal year (2014/15) while the number rose to 4,680 in the following fiscal (2015/16).
Similarly, in the fiscal year 2016/17, the number of suicides surged to 5,124. Likewise, in the immediate past fiscal year (2017/18), the number of suicidal deaths reached 5,317.
Most of the suicide victims have taken their lives by hanging themselves, while others by consuming poison, jumping from heights and drowning.
According to the Nepal Police data, there has been a steady rise in the number of deaths by suicide from 2014/15 till 2017/18. However, in the current fiscal year, (2018/19), the number of recorded suicides have plunged to all time low of 3,488.
The WHO report of 2015 shows that Nepal ranked 126th in terms of global suicide rates.