What should I know about suicide?
The act of intentionally ending one's own life because one does not want to live any more is called suicide. It is estimated that approximately 1 million lives are claimed by suicides every year, globally. This means that, somewhere in the world a person is committing suicide every 40 seconds. In addition to these numbers, there are at least 20 million failed suicide attempts every year - and numbers are rising.
Reliable figures are often difficult to find, since many families do not disclose the true nature of a suicide; for fear of harassment by police and/or social stigma.
While suicide rates in most first world countries are decreasing, they are increasing alarmingly in the less affluent countries.
Possible reasons for these alarming numbers are:
- poor education (and therefore lack of job opportunities)
- rapid industrialization (leading to loss of many manual jobs)
- poor health services (very limited availability of mental health specialists and treatment for problems such as depression or anxiety)
- traditions and lack of understanding (people may be limited by the traditions of a country or society which refuses to accept them as they are)