Sunday September 15, 2019

Suicide Every Year Takes Lives of Estimated 800,000 People

The WHO said Monday suicides are preventable and fewer people would die by self-inflicted means

0
//
Suicide, Lives, People
FILE - Some of the 660 American flags on display, illustrating the number of U.S. veterans who commit suicide each year, are seen by the banner on the church lawn of St. Peter's Reformed Church, in Zelienople, Pa., Aug. 30, 2019. VOA

On the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day on Tuesday, the World Health Organization is calling for action to stop the global epidemic, which every year takes the lives of an estimated 800,000 people.

The WHO said Monday suicides are preventable and fewer people would die by self-inflicted means if more nations employed proven suicide prevention strategies.  And yet, the United Nations agency says only 38 countries are taking life-saving actions.

Every 40 seconds, one person around the world commits suicide, with young people particularly vulnerable, WHO reported.  Data show suicide is the second-leading cause of death among those between the ages of 15 and 29, and is the leading cause of death among teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19.

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.

Suicide, Lives, People
On the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day on Tuesday, the World Health Organization is calling for action to stop the global epidemic, which every year takes the lives. Pixabay

Alexandra Fleischmann, WHO scientist in the department of mental health and substance abuse,said pesticide self-poisoning is a common means of suicide in agricultural areas of poorer nations.

“About one-fifth of all suicides are happening with this method,” she said. “And, we know that it oftentimes is happening out of the moment because of distress, impulsively.

“Usually the persons are ambivalent about taking their own lives.  And, in this moment, they should not have the quick and ready access to the means to commit suicide,” Fleischmann said.

She added many of these suicides can be prevented by banning highly hazardous pesticides in high-risk countries.  She said preventive measures also should be taken in regard to other common methods of suicide, notably hanging and firearms.

Also Read- Decades of Rising Temperatures Melts More than A Third of Sweden’s Highest Peak

WHO reported important risk factors include a previous suicide attempt, mental health problems, depression, loss, stress, violence and alcohol abuse.

Interventions with a proven record of success include restricting access to means, responsible media reporting that does not glamorize suicide, and teaching young people how to cope with life’s stresses. (VOA)

Next Story

Social Media Giant Facebook Tightening it’s Policies Around Self-harm, Suicide

The photo-sharing platform also prevents self-harm content from appearing in its "Explore" tab and it has taken steps to prohibit content that may promote eating disorders

0
Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

On World Suicide Prevention Day, Facebook is tightening its policies around self-harm, suicide and eating disorder and has announced its plan to hire a health and well-being expert to join its safety policy team.

“Earlier this year, we began hosting regular consultations with experts from around the world to discuss some of the more difficult topics associated with suicide and self-injury. These include how we deal with suicide notes, the risks of sad content online and newsworthy depiction of suicide,” Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety, Facebook, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

The social media giant has been working on suicide prevention measures since a few years now and in 2017, it introduced its artificial intelligence (AI)-based suicide prevention tools.

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

“…We’ve made several changes to improve how we handle this content. We tightened our policy around self-harm to no longer allow graphic cutting images to avoid unintentionally promoting or triggering self-harm, even when someone is seeking support or expressing themselves to aid their recovery,” Davis added.

Also Read- Pakistan Leaves Behind India in Terms of Internet Download Speed: Report

Facebook-owned Instagram stared hiding self-harm images behind “sensitivity screens” this year.

The photo-sharing platform also prevents self-harm content from appearing in its “Explore” tab and it has taken steps to prohibit content that may promote eating disorders. (IANS)