Explained: A suicide every 40 seconds, taking stock of global trends
-The Indian Express
While the link between suicide and mental disorders, especially depression and alcohol use, is well established, WHO finds that many suicides happen during a crisis and because of an individual’s inability to deal with stress.
A fact sheet released by the World Health Organization last week shows that close to 8 lakh people die due to suicide every year. In other words, suicides account for one death every 40 seconds. Another important fact that often gets missed is that behind every successful suicide, there are more than 20 attempts at taking one’s life.
Chart 1 provides the regional spread of suicide rates. Against a global average of 10.53 deaths due to suicide (per 100,000 population) Europe tends to register the maximum deaths due to suicide while Eastern Mediterranean reports the lowest average. However, even within each region, there are wide disparities. For instance, as chart 2 shows, India and Pakistan report very different levels of suicide rates.
Chart 2 shows country-specific rates of a wide variety of countries both in terms of geography and resource allocation as well as in terms of economic prosperity. It ranks India next to some of the other countries most comparable to it such as Indonesia, Brazil and China. Russia’s data stands out for being over four times the global average.
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