Preventing suicide: reaching out and saving lives
The world celebrated the world suicide prevention day every year initiated by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the WHO to call the nation to prevent suicide on the 10th of September.
The theme for the World Suicide Prevention Day 2015 was “Preventing Suicide: Reaching out and saving Lives”. It serves as a call to action, individuals and organizations to prevent and combat suicide.
Around the world every 40 seconds a person commits suicide somewhere in the world. Every year more than 800 000 deaths are caused by suicide and there are several other attempted suicide cases. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds globally.
The South-East Asia Region contributes to 39% of global suicides. Suicide in the region is mainly a problem of the younger age groups. As large numbers of people in the region are predominantly rural, the occurrence of suicides is generally much higher in the rural parts of South-East Asia.
Suicide needs attention as a public health problem not only because of the huge social and emotional burden it has on the family and society, but also because of the scope of prevention that it presents. Suicide is preventable with timely, evidence-based low-cost interventions. Measures can be taken at population, subpopulation and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts. In Bhutan every month, around seven people die by suicide. Many more are treated in the BHUs and hospitals for suicide attempts and deliberate self harm, and still there must be others not even seeking care and treatment.
This is a contradiction to the great emphasis we place on the self preservation and incalculable value on human life. Suicide is a tragic loss of life and cause of extreme suffering for people living with the loss and to the society. To a large extent, suicide is preventable with appropriate interventions provided at a right time. For a nation committed to upholding the values of Gross National Happiness and promoting happiness as a goal of human existence, this uphill task must be overcome.
As approved by the 74th Lhenyye Zhungtshog held on 12th May, 2015 the suicide prevention three year action plan which was to be implemented by the National Suicide Prevention Program in the Ministry of Health.
On the World Suicide Prevention Day 2015, we must make collective efforts to reach out to those in need of support. At the individual level, early identification of mental disorders and appropriate management and recognition of suicidal behaviors is helpful. Large-scale advocacy efforts are required to reduce the stigma related to suicides.