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Suicide worldwide in 2019

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Suicide worldwide in 2019:


Suicide worldwide in 2019 report was recently released by WHO.

Key findings:

  1. The world will not be able to reach the SDG target- Reducing the global suicide mortality rate by a third.
  2. 703,000 people or one in a 100, died by suicide in 2019.
  3. Most affected age group: More than half of global suicides (58 per cent) occurred before the age of 50 years. Suicide was the fourth-leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 globally in 2019.
  4. Most affected regions: Some 77 per cent of global suicides in 2019 occurred in low- and middle-income countries. On an average, 9 out of every 100,000 people ended their lives in the world.
  5. Higher than the global average: Three WHO regions — Africa, Europe and South-East Asia — recorded suicide rates higher than the global average.
  6. Overall decrease in suicide rate: In 20 years (2000-2019), the global suicide rate had decreased by 36 per cent.
  7. Currently, only 38 countries are known to have a national suicide prevention strategy.

WHO guidelines to help countries reduce the global suicide mortality rate by a third by 2030:

  1. Limiting access to the means of suicide, such as highly hazardous pesticides and firearms.
  2. Educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide.
  3. Fostering socio-emotional life skills in adolescents.
  4. Early identification, assessment, management and follow-up of anyone affected by suicidal thoughts and behaviour.

SDG Goals in this regard- Goal 3:

  1. Target 3.4: By 2030, By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well being.
  2. Target 3.5: Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.
  3. Target 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, which mental health is part of.

Suicide rate in India:

  • As of 2019, India has the highest suicide rate in the South-East Asian region– 16.5 suicides per 100,000 people.
  • India also had the third-highest female suicide rate (14.7).

Measures by India in this regard:

  1. The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 decriminalizes suicide, assuring adequate medical relief to those attempting it.
  2. The National Mental Health Programme and Health and Wellness Centres under the Ayushman Bharat Program are efforts to provide quality care at the primary health care level.
  3. Deaddiction centres and rehabilitation services are also available.
  4. A comprehensive suicide prevention strategy within the framework of the National Mental Health Policy of India 2014, with effective multisectoral collaboration is imperative.


Insta Curious: 

Extrapolated topic

  1. Do you know the difference between Voluntary, Non-Voluntary and Involuntary Euthanasia? Read Here
  2. What is the view of Buddhism on Suicide and Euthanasia? Read Here



Prelims Link:

  1. About the National Mental Health Policy.
  2. Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
  3. National Mental Health Programme.

Mains Link:

Discuss the measures taken by India to prevent suicides in the country.

Sources: Down to Earth.