Staggering statistic: Organization reports one person dies from suicide every 40 seconds
Published 2:07 pm Tuesday, September 10, 2019
By the time you read this article across the world several people will have died as a result of committing suicide, the World Health Organization reported this week. In a 24-hour period, on average, some 2,160 people across the globe will commit suicide.
“The number of countries with national suicide prevention strategies has increased in the five years since the publication of WHO’s first global report on suicide,” said the World Health Organization in the lead-up to World Suicide Prevention Day, which is today. “But the total number of countries with strategies, at just 38, is still far too few and governments need to commit to establishing them.”
“Despite progress, one person still dies every 40 seconds from suicide,” said WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Every death is a tragedy for family, friends and colleagues. Yet suicides are preventable. We call on all countries to incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programmes in a sustainable way.”
Suicide rate highest in high-income countries; second leading cause of death among young people
The global age-standardized suicide rate  for 2016  was 10.5 per 100 000. Rates varied widely, however, between countries, from 5 suicide deaths per 100 000, to more than 30 per 100 000. While 79% of the world’s suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries, high-income countries had the highest rate, at 11.5 per 100 000. Nearly three times as many men as women die by suicide in high-income countries, in contrast to low- and middle-income countries, where the rate is more equal.
Suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years, after road injury. Among teenagers aged 15-19 years, suicide was the second leading cause of death among girls (after maternal conditions) and the third leading cause of death in boys (after road injury and interpersonal violence).
The most common methods of suicide are hanging, pesticide self-poisoning, and firearms. Key interventions that have shown success in reducing suicides are restricting access to means; educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide; implementing programs among young people to build life skills that enable them to cope with life stresses; and early identification, management and follow-up of people at risk of suicide.
Information provided by the World Health Organization.