We kill ourselves while under the delusion that the world will be better off without us. That is completely false!
According to a landmark United Nations report, every 40 seconds, someone in the world takes their own life, accounting for a global total of over 800,000 suicides each year. The research found that suicide kills more people each year than conflicts and natural catastrophes and accounts for more than half of the world’s 1.5 million violent deaths annually, World Health Organization staff told reporters at its presentation in Geneva (CNNWorld/Tim Hume )
This is the first U.N report on this subject, took a decade to complete and involved analyzing data on suicides from 172 countries.
Why do so many of us take our own lives? Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Said “This report is a call for action to address a large public health problem which has been shrouded in taboo for far too long.”
The report outlines, among other findings, the following:
1. Most common suicide methods globally are pesticides, poisoning, hanging and firearms.
2. Although suicide can take place at any age and highest rate is with people age 70 years and over, globally suicide is second leading cause of death in people between ages 15 and 29.
3. More men die by suicide than women (richer countries 3 times more men than women) with men aged 50 and over particularly vulnerable.
4. Early identification and management of mental and substance use disorders by health workers are recommended.
5. Evidence from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and several European countries indicates that limiting access to these methods can help prevent people dying by suicide.
6. In addition to limiting access to suicide methods, another effective measure to reduce deaths by suicide include responsible reporting of suicide in the media, such as avoiding language that sensationalize suicide and avoiding explicit description of methods used.
The recent suicide of Robin Williams generated media and public attention and discussion. In his article Why Robin Williams lost to depression, Michael Friedman, a clinical psychologist and member of EHE International’s Medical Advisory Board,explained that:
“Depression does not discriminate, cannot be bargained with and shows no mercy. Depression does not care how wonderful your life is or how may people you’ve touched. Williams seemed to have it all: He was adored by fans, loved by family and friends and had fame and fortune…As a society, we need to hear these collective cries for help, take depression seriously as a public health issue and eradicate the stigma of mental illness must be a public health priority.”
The tragedy of suicides must be used to inform and educate people that help is available and (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK; Crisis Text Line: www.crisistextline.org)
that mental health treatments are effective, and that suicidal thoughts, by their very nature, tend to be time-limited–thought they may regularly recur.
Killing ourselves solves nothing and I am not talking about concept and human rigtht of dying with dignity and assisted suicide, which under specific circumstances and controls should be an option for some (an in depth analysis of that issue at A Peaceful Dignified Exit, and to All a Good Death).
What we are exploring here is the tragedy of hundreds of thousand of people killing themselves every year, while suffering from treatable clinical depression/metal illness which convinces them that they, their loves ones and the world would be better off without them. It is time to bring this issue into the light, remove any social stigma attached to it and provide everyone that needs it the proper help and treatment they need to prevent these senseless deaths.
What do you think?
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