Saturday March 28, 2020

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

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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.

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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

Has The Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Redefined The concept of Respecting Personal Space? Know Here

The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most of those infected, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or people with existing health problems. The vast majority of those infected recover

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Coronavirus
The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most of those infected, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or people with existing health problems. The vast majority of those infected recover.  VOA

Social distancing could qualify as an oxymoron in Italy, where walking arm-in-arm with friends, kissing neighbors in greeting and patting the heads of babies are part of the demonstrative culture, but coronavirus has deluded it all.

This New virus has rapidly redefined the concept of respecting personal space for tactile Italians, as well as for South Koreans, Filipinos, Americans, Spaniards and citizens of many other crowded parts of the world.  

Whether acting under government orders or following basic public health advice, people are putting distance between themselves to keep the coronavirus away. The new rules of engagement call for maintaining a gap of one to two meters (or three to six feet) to prevent possible exposure when an infected individual coughs or speaks.

The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most of those infected, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or people with existing health problems. The vast majority of those infected recover.  

The reset norm for an acceptable degree of separation became visible evidence of the pandemic’s reach as schools, shopping malls and sports venues closed and opportunities for public encounters dwindled. Outside a gun shop in California, a post office in Hungary and a supermarket in Manila, lines lengthened as customers queued up at more or less proper intervals.

Practicing social distancing at first created confusion among shoppers waiting at a supermarket in Madrid. Some harsh exchanges ensued. But customers soon learned that if they wanted their groceries, they needed to fall into line.

The safe space standards also reveal how closely humans positioned themselves before. Pastors at a church in Seoul had room to spread out in empty pews after deciding to conduct Sunday services online. Journalists at a news conference in Berlin sat in chairs spaced away from one another.

Coronavirus
Whether acting under government orders or following basic public health advice, people are putting distance between themselves to keep the coronavirus away. Pixabay

A nationwide decree that took effect in Italy last week obliges people to stay at least one meter (about three feet) apart. Overnight, habits of a lifetime and of an entire society were turned upside down.  

In a country where waiting your turn often equates to elbowing your way to the front of an undisciplined pack, Italians dutifully lined up with breaks in between — one meter, two meters, sometimes standing across the street from each other to keep stores uncrowded and themselves from getting COVID-19.

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Shopkeepers whipped out measuring tapes.

“I have seen a lot of discipline, solidarity and collaboration, and everybody understands that the first that falls will pull the others with him,” said Piero Emilio Vincenzi, owner of an appliance store near the Vatican. (VOA)