Since the tragic death of actor Robin Williams, the social media sites have been a buzz about the topic of suicide. People are now talking about a subject that has been taboo for a long time.
The suicide rates that are studied by Center for Disease Control, (CDC), in the United States are now lagging behind by more than a year. The information has not yet been updated and made available for 2012 or 2013. However, as of 2010 Suicide was the 12th leading cause of death. According to the CDC suicide in 2010 killed more people in the United States then car accidents. The total number of people who died from suicide in 2010 was 38,364.
According to the World Health Organization, one person commits suicide every 40 seconds, just to put that into perspective that is more than all the yearly victims of wars and natural disasters. The highest toll seems be among the elderly. These statistics were released by WHO at the United Nations summit in Geneva on, Thursday, September 4, 2014. According to an article entitled, “One Person Commits Suicide Every 40 Seconds: World Health Organization.”
According to Shekhar Saxena, Director of the WHO Mental Health Department, “There are 1.5 million violent deaths every year in the world, of which 800,000 are suicides.” The study showed some of the highest rates are found in Central, Eastern Europe, and Asia. At least 25% occur in “rich” counties. It also found men are more likely than women to kill themselves.
The World Health Organization research showed “Globally suicide rates are higher in people seventy years and older. Though, in certain countries, the highest rates are found among the youth. Notably suicide is the second leading cause of death in fifteen to twenty-nine year olds globally.
The WHO has now named suicide a major public health problem and has set a goal of cutting suicide deaths by 10% by 2020. They studied 172 countries for this report and it took a decade for them to finish all the research. The WHO director, Margret Chan says, “The report is a call for action to discuss a large public health problem which was ignored due to taboos for far too long.”
The United States, has a suicide rate of 10 to 14.9 per 100,000 people. The WHO studied showed that low to middle-income people have a higher rate of suicide, a total of 606,700 or 75.5% per 100,000 people compared to the wealthier people, which totaled 197,200 or 24.5% per 100,000 people. It also showed that among the low to middle-income, the highest rates were among twenty to thirty year olds. This study did show that in at least one year 2012, higher income countries had a slightly higher rate of suicide, 12.7% per 100,000 people.
They have gave out a warning about this study, that “Suicide figures are often incomplete, mainly because many countries fail to keep proper count.” As I pointed out the United States is one of those countries. They have not come out with suicide data for the years 2012 or 2013 yet.
Please remember suicide is preventable. It is a permanent solution to a temporary situation or problem. The number one challenge in preventing suicide, the WHO pointed out,”is that the majority who commit suicide are often marginalized groups of the population, many are the poor and the vulnerable of the society.” Although depression, mental health issues, and suicide knows no income level, or society status, as we have seen most recently with the suicide of the actor Robin Williams.