For World Suicide Prevention Day, 10 September, WHO is releasing a framework for addressing the underlying causes of suicide and for developing action plans to suit each country and its communities. Suicide, though largely preventable, is one of the three leading causes of death among people in the most economically productive age group—15-44 years—and the second leading cause of death of people ages 15 to 19. At the other end of the age spectrum, the elderly are also at higher risk.
The theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is “Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Installing Hope.” This year marks the 10th anniversary of this day.
Suicide is a major public health problem in the Americas. Some 65,000 lives are lost each year in the Region due to suicide (7.5 deaths per 100,000 population). Many countries, especially those with higher or increasing rates, are devoting special attention to the problem and developing new programs for suicide prevention and control.
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has made suicide a priority within the Regional Strategy on Mental Health. Its technical cooperation in this area emphasizes vulnerable groups and preventive interventions that take account of different local and national contexts.