Suicide school gauteng

Photo: Anemone123 /

Startling WHO revelation shows a life is lost to suicide every 40 seconds

The World Health Organisation has called on governments around the globe to be more active when it comes to suicide prevention.

Suicide school gauteng

Photo: Anemone123 /

The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that suicide claims a life every 40 seconds somewhere on the planet and the message on World Suicide Prevention Day (9 September) is connect, communicate, and care.

Not enough suicide prevention strategies

The WHO praised the strides being made globally in suicide prevention with the number of countries instituting national suicide prevention strategies having increased significantly since the organisation first published its report on global suicide in 2014.

However, of all the countries in the world, there are still only 38 that have an official suicide prevention strategy.

“Despite progress, one person still dies every 40 seconds from suicide,” said WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Every death is a tragedy for family, friends, and colleagues. Yet suicides are preventable. We call on all countries to incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programmes in a sustainable way.”

Money no defence against thoughts of suicide

According to the WHO, while the majority of suicides happen in low and middle-income countries at 79%, the rate of suicide is actually highest in high-income countries that experience, on average, 11.5 suicides per 100 000 people.

“Suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years, after road injury,” said the WHO in a statement.

“Among teenagers aged 15-19 years, suicide was the second leading cause of death among girls (after maternal conditions) and the third leading cause of death in boys (after road injury and interpersonal violence).”

Some of the key interventions that have achieved significant success in reducing the number of suicides in a country include:

  • Restricting access to means of self-termination
  • Educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide
  • Implementing programmes among young people to build life skills that enable them to cope with life stresses
  • Early identification, management and follow-up of people at risk of suicide

If you’re struggling, talk to somebody

Lifeline is a free counselling service in South Africa that was set up to help reduce the instances of suicide and its impact on society.

All calls to the service are totally confidential and handled by trained professionals with care and respect.

World Suicide Prevention Day highlights the plight of people who feel at the end of their tether and LifeLine has shared some guidelines on how to interact with a suicidal individual:

  • Always treat talk of suicide as a serious concern
  • Assess the risk – loss, depression, family history, abuse, and substance abuse are high-risk factors
  • Empathise – don’t try to argue or talk the person out of it
  • Talk openly – we often skirt around the issue out of fear that we will make it worse. In fact, addressing the issue of suicide means we are taking it seriously

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anything at all, it is strongly advised to give Lifeline a call on 021-461-1111.

Alternatively, you can make a WhatsApp call to 063-709-2620, set up a face-to-face counseling session by calling 021-461-1113, or visit their website at