Suicide is a tough issue and one which affects all age groups. Many who choose to take their own lives are children or young people– teens are particularly vulnerable. Most of us know someone who has committed suicide and understand the ongoing trauma and guilt for those left behind. September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day.
Global suicide rates among adolescents in the 15-19 age group, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) Mortality Database, were examined. Data for this age group were available from 90 countries (in some cases areas) out of the 130 WHO member states. The mean suicide rate for this age group, based on data available for the latest year, was 7.4/100,000. Suicide rates were higher in males (10.5) than in females (4.1). This applies in almost all countries. The exceptions are China, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador and Sri Lanka, where the female suicide rate was higher than the male. In the 90 countries (areas) studied, suicide was the fourth leading cause of death among young males and the third for young females. [Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1414751/]
The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people around the world die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. Up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt. The tragic ripple effect means that there are many, many more people who have been bereaved by suicide or have been close to someone who has tried to take his or her own life. And this is happening in spite of the fact that suicide is preventable. ‘Connect, communicate, care’ is the theme of the 2016 World Suicide Prevention Day. These three words are at the heart of suicide prevention.
As of 2009, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. annually, with 33,000 fatalities resulting from approximately 1.8 million attempts every year
Suicide is a serious concern for New Zealand communities. Every year, around 500 New Zealanders die by suicide, with many more attempting suicide. This has a tragic impact on the lives of many others – families, whānau, friends, and workmates, communities and society as a whole.
The media also have an important role to play in suicide prevention. Some types of reporting on suicide (e.g., prominent and/or explicit stories) have been shown to be associated with ‘spikes’ in suicide rates, but others (e.g., those that describe mastery of suicidal crises) have been shown to have a protective effect. Media recommendations have been developed by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization to assist journalists in getting stories right. Please see: goo.gl/4qVhUp
There are a number of helplines and websites around the world for suicide prevention. Anyone concerned that anyone, of any age, might be considering suicide or who feels they may be in danger of committing suicide themselves should not hesitate to use these resources.
New Zealand : Life Line: (Free call) 0800-543-354
Australia: 13 11 14 https://www.lifeline.org.au
Canada: http://kidshelpphone.ca/ tel: 1-800-668-6868 or 1.877.741.0276.
USA: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 http://www.crisistextline.org/textline/?gclid=CjwKEAjwgdS-BRDA7fT68f6s8zMSJADZwHmvuskGxz_Eq4Z7oeM2S4JXdUtU2h_D5jiNxSxrKXrY3RoCNazw_wcB
Japan: +81 (0) 3 5286 9090 (Tokyo) or +81 (0) 6 4395 4343 (Osaka)