WHO Launches New Resources On Preventing, Decriminalising Suicide

Caribbean and World News

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched two resources designed to strengthen suicide prevention efforts: Preventing suicide: a resource for media professionals (2023 update) and a policy brief on the health aspects of decriminalization of suicide and suicide attempts. Suicide is a major public health problem. Each year more than 700,000 people take their own life. It is the fourth leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds. Not only is each loss of life tragic in itself, but it also has profound and devastating effects on families and entire communities. Suicide can be linked to multiple, complex, and intersecting social, economic, cultural, and psychological factors and challenges, including the denial of basic human rights and access to resources as well as stressful life events such as loss of livelihood, work or academic pressures, relationship breakdowns and discrimination, among others. Reducing the global suicide rate by one third by 2030 is a target of both the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the WHO Global Mental Health Action Plan. Urgent action is needed to meet the 2030 goal, and countries have committed to taking concrete measures in this direction. “Each death by suicide is a tragedy, and more must be done to...