According to WHO, 2016 report, suicide deaths for male increased from 9.4 in 2015 to 9.7 in 2016 per 100,000 while female maintained 2.1 per 100,000. In both sexes there was an increase from 5.5 in 2015 to 5.6 in 2016. Globally there was an estimated 793 000 suicide deaths in 2016. This indicates an annual global age-standardized suicide rate of 10.5 per 100 000 population
Source: WHO, 2016
What are the risk factors for suicide?
Certain events and circumstances may increase risk (not in particular order, except first one).
• Previous suicide attempt(s)
• A history of suicide in the family
• Substance misuse
• Mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder)
• Access to lethal means (e.g., keeping firearms in the home)
• Losses and other events (for example, the breakup of a relationship or a death, academic failures, legal difficulties, financial difficulties, bullying)
• History of trauma or abuse
• Chronic physical illness, including chronic pain
• Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others
What are the warning signs of suicide?
• Often talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
• Making comments about being hopeless, helpless or worthless
• Expressions of having no reason for living; no sense of purpose in life; saying things like "It would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out."
• Increased alcohol and/or drug misuse
• Withdrawal from friends, family and community
• Reckless behavior or more risky activities, seemingly without thinking
• Dramatic mood changes
• Talking about feeling trapped or being a burden to others
What are the Protective Factors?
• Contacts with providers (e.g., follow-up phone call from health care professional)
• Effective mental health care; easy access to a variety of clinical interventions
• Strong connections to individuals, family, community and social institutions
• Problem-solving and conflict resolution skills
As with mental illness, one of the biggest barriers to preventing suicide is stigma, which prevents many people from seeking help. Preventive strategies include such measures as teaching coping and problem-solving skills to help people manage challenges, expanding options for temporary assistance for those in need and connecting people at-risk to effective and coordinated mental and physical health care.
What you can do to help suicidal persons.
If someone indicates they are considering suicide, listen and take their concerns seriously. Don't be afraid to ask questions about their plans. Let them know you care, and they are not alone. Encourage them to seek help immediately from a knowledgeable professional. Don't leave them alone.
Five tips for what you can do if you're concerned about a friend or loved one:
• Ask someone you are worried about if they're thinking about suicide. (While people may be hesitant to ask, research shows this is helpful.)
• Keep them safe. Reduce access to lethal means for those at risk.
• Be there with them. Listen to what they need.
• Help them connect with ongoing support.
• Stay connected. Follow up to see how they’re doing