Today is World Mental Health Day and this year’s theme is suicide prevention.
Every year close to 800,000 people take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families and communities and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and was the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally in 2016.
Who is at risk?
There is a strong link between suicide and mental health, but suicide can also happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.
Suicide rates are also high amongst vulnerable groups who experience discrimination, such as refugees and migrants; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) persons and homeless people.
By far the strongest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt.