Geneva, September 11, 2017 : The World Health Organization reports about 800,000 people commit suicide every year. To mark this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10), WHO is stressing the important role the media can play in stopping people from taking their own lives.
Worldwide, every 40 seconds, someone takes their own life. The World Health Organization reports for every suicide, 20 others, mainly young people, attempt to take their own lives. WHO says suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year olds.
It finds most suicides, more than 78 percent, occur in low-and middle-income countries and risk factors include mental disorders, particularly depression and anxiety resulting from alcohol use.
WHO cites growing evidence that the media can play a significant role in preventing suicide by reporting responsibly on these tragedies.
Scientist in WHO’s department of mental health and substance abuse, Alexandra Fleischmann tells VOA people are often reluctant to talk about suicide because of the stigma attached. She says journalists can help to overcome this taboo by encouraging people to seek help and to speak openly about their distress.
“It is also important to stress that the encouragement to work with the media and not just to talk about the don’ts. Don’t put it in the headlines,” she said. “Don’t put the picture of the person who died. Don’t sensationalize it. Don’t glamorize it.”
WHO warns irresponsible reporting of this sort often can trigger copycat suicides or increase the risk.
The UN health agency reports the most common methods of suicide are self-poisoning with pesticide and firearms. It says many of these deaths could be prevented by restricting access to these means. (VOA)
New Delhi, India, September 8, 2017: At a time when reports of suicides linked to the Blue Whale challenge internet game are sending shock waves through the country, Facebook on Friday said it is working with suicide prevention partners to collect phrases, hashtags and group names associated with online challenges encouraging self-harm or suicide.
“We offer resources to people that search for these terms on Facebook,” the social media giant said.
The Blue Whale challenge is said to psychologically provoke players to indulge in daring, self-destructive tasks for 50 days before finally taking the “winning” step of killing themselves.
Facebook said it also removes content that violates our Community Standards, which do not allow the promotion of self-injury or suicide.
Starting on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, Facebook said it would also connect people in India with information about support groups and suicide prevention tools in News Feed.
“Facebook is a place where people connect and share, and one of the things we have learnt from the mental health partners and academics we have worked with on this issue, is that being connected is a protective factor in suicide prevention,” said Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy for Facebook in India, South and Central Asia.
Additional resources about suicide prevention and online well-being will also be added to its Safety Center, Facebook said.
With these resources, people can access tools to resolve conflict online, help a friend who is expressing suicidal thoughts or get resources if they are going through a difficult time.
“We care deeply about the safety and millions of people in India who use Facebook to connect with the people who matter to them, and recognize there’s an opportunity with these tools and resources to connect someone who is struggling with a person they already have a relationship with,” Das said.
Facebook’s Safety Center also offers guidance for parents, teenagers, educators, and law enforcement officials to start a conversation about online safety, with localized resources and videos available.
People can also reach out to Facebook when they see something that makes them concerned about a friend’s well-being.
“We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review reports that come in and prioritize the most serious reports of suicide. For those who reach out to us, we provide suggested text to make it easier for people to start a conversation with their friend in need,” Facebook said.
“We provide the friend who has expressed suicidal thoughts information about local help lines, along with other tips and resources,” it added. (IANS)
A new research examined how racial bias prompts elderly Chinese-Americans to contemplate suicide
Discrimination can impair an individual’s physical, emotional and mental well-being
The study revealed that individuals are twice as likely to think about taking their own life when subjected to discriminatory behavior
Chicago, September 2, 2017 : According to World Health Organization (WHO), about 800,000 people end their lives every year, and there are countless more who attempt suicide. These deliberate deaths have long-lasting effects not just on the families of the people involved, but also on the larger society. According to a new research, people who experience discrimination of any form are twice as likely to contemplate taking their own life in comparison to those who didn’t experience similar thoughts.
The research by University of Michigan traced the relationship between discrimination and suicidal thoughts, also understood as suicide ideation among aged Chinese-American citizens.
Lydia Li, associate professor at the University Of Michigan School Of Social Work and a co-author of the study believes prejudicial treatment or racial bias is an extremely challenging experience for the elderly that can hamper not just emotional, but also mental and physical well being, according to a report by ANI.
“It’s a serious matter. It’s not something you can just forget” she said in an interview with HuffPost, further adding, “It cuts into peoples’ thoughts about their place on this planet.”
The research examined over 3,000 Chinese American seniors aged 60 years and above in the greater Chicago area, who had immigrated to the United States and have been living here for more than twenty years.
Further, 57 per cent of the study participants were women.
Professor Li along with the team obtained and analyzed the background information of all participants, including their age, education, and marital status through a detailed questionnaire. The participants were also asked to share specific experiences of discrimination, if faced any. Additionally, the questionnaire gauged their take on suicide and questioned if they had ever harbored suicidal thoughts.
Revelations Of The Study
The study revealed that about 4 per cent of the participants had debated suicide all within a period of 30 days. Furthermore, 21 per cent had reported experiencing discrimination in a variety of situations.
The participants in the research revealed experiencing prejudicial discrimination at public spaces and work, alike which often prompts them to feel like they are not ‘welcome’ in the area.
According to the study, participants who experienced discrimination were twice as likely to contemplate taking their own life in comparison to those who didn’t experience similar thoughts.
According to Professor Li, apart from raising a sense of vulnerability and isolation, discrimination among older Chinese-Americans also impedes them from seeking help. In her opinion, “Assimilation difficulty, cultural beliefs and family pride may preclude them from seeking help. Consequently they may come to see suicide as a viable alternative”, as reported by ANI.
The participants of the research belonged to the ethnic minority of Chinese-American immigrants who did not face any such bias in their own country. Delving on this fact, Professor Li noted that it gets increasingly difficult for the aged people belonging to this group to cope with the indifferent behavior because “It’s not something they’ve been trained to deal with.”
Risk Factors And Remedial Mechanisms
The study revealed noteworthy risk factors that can potentially prompt the older population to contemplate deadly actions. These include,
The research also noted that the treatment imparted to citizens can vary among people settled in the rural areas.
However, the problem can be combated with sufficient support from the family. Professor Li also noted the positive contribution of clinicians, who must recognize the gravity of the situation and its impact on the ethnic minority in the old-age bracket.
The need of the hour is to make the larger public aware of the health hazard that discrimination of any kind poses to individuals. Efforts must also be taken to empower people who are at the receiving end of racial bias and bigotry treatment in a way that makes them feel an intrinsic part of the larger society. Professor Li suggests doing so by particularly helping new immigrants establish themselves in the mainstream society and assuring them that these vile instances are not their fault.
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