World Health Organization (WHO) releases guidelines to help decrease suicide rate

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death across the world, and while people are beginning to talk about it, Pakistan still has a long way to go and a lot needs to be done.

According to WHO or World Health Organization, one in every hundred deaths is due to suicide. In 2019, 700,000 people died due to suicide across the globe. Director General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghrebeyesus has launched new guidelines, with the goal to cut the suicide rate by a third by the year 2030.

At an event, he said that the deaths should not be ignored, since many risk factors for suicide have become more prevalent during the pandemic. The WHO added that a key strategy would be to limit access to means of suicide. National ban on toxic chemicals in pesticides will be an effective step as poisoning is the leading cause of suicide across Asia.

Another good strategy includes working with adolescents to develop socio-emotional skills, as half of the mental health conditions develop before the age of 14.

Educating media on responsible reporting of suicide cases and working with social media companies, and improving identification and follow-up of people experiencing suicidal thoughts, is essential.

A suicide attempt in the past is an essential risk factor for a future suicide. Healthcare workers should be trained in such a way that they can identify the signs early on. Crisis services should be made available for those in distress.

It is also our responsibility to constantly check-up on people around us and keep our own mental health in check. If you find yourself having such thoughts, seek professional help. On the other hand, if someone around you is experiencing such thoughts, encourage them to get professional help as well.

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