Home > National suicide prevention strategies: progress, examples and indicators.

World Health Organization. (2018) National suicide prevention strategies: progress, examples and indicators. Geneva: World Health Organization.

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It is estimated that for each person who dies by suicide, more than 20 others attempt suicide. In fact, suicide attempts are an important risk factor for subsequent suicide. When the family members, friends, colleagues and communities of those who attempt suicide or die by suicide are taken into consideration, many millions of people worldwide are affected by suicide every year. Because suicide remains a sensitive issue, it is very likely that it is under-reported due to stigma, criminalization and weak surveillance systems. Social, psychological, cultural and many other factors can interact to increase the risk of suicidal behaviour, but the stigma attached to suicide means that many people who are in need of help feel unable to seek it. Risk factors for suicide include previous suicide attempts, mental health problems, harmful use of alcohol, drug use, job or financial loss, relationship breakdown, trauma or abuse, violence, conflict or disaster, and chronic pain or illness.


Unfortunately, suicide prevention is too often a low priority for governments and policy-makers. Suicide prevention needs to be prioritized on global public health and public policy agendas and awareness of suicide as a public health concern must be raised by using a multidimensional approach that recognizes social, psychological and cultural impacts. A national suicide prevention strategy is important because it indicates a government’s clear commitment to prioritizing and tackling suicide, while providing leadership and guidance on the key evidence-based suicide prevention interventions.


PDF p.34 Example 4. Ireland (European Region)

The information is summarized from the government strategy called “Connecting for Life: Ireland`s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015–2020”.

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