Suicide impacts on the most vulnerable of the world's populations and is highly prevalent in already marginalized and discriminated groups of society. It is not just a serious public health problem in developed countries; in fact, most suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries where resources and services, if they do exist, are often scarce and limited for early identification, treatment and support of people in need. These striking facts and the lack of implemented timely interventions make suicide a global public health problem that needs to be tackled imperatively.
This report is the first WHO publication of its kind and brings together what is known in a convenient form so that immediate actions can be taken. The report will increase the awareness of the public health significance of suicide and suicide attempts and to make suicide prevention a higher priority on the global public health agenda. It will encourage and support countries to develop or strengthen comprehensive suicide prevention strategies in a multi-sectoral public health approach. For a national suicide prevention strategy, it is essential that governments assume their role of leadership, as they can bring together a multitude of stakeholders who may not otherwise collaborate. Governments are also in a unique position to develop and strengthen surveillance and to provide and disseminate data that are necessary to inform action. This report proposes practical guidance on strategic actions that governments can take on the basis of their resources and existing suicide prevention activities. In particular, there are evidence-based and low-cost interventions that are effective, even in resource-poor settings.
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World Health Organization is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, charged to act as the world's directing and coordinating authority on questions of human health. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries, and monitoring and assessing health trends.
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