The purpose of World Suicide Prevention Day
Suicide can affect every one of us. Each suicide is devastating and a tragedy. It has a profound effect on those around the victim. By raising awareness, reducing stigma and encouraging well-informed action we can reduce the prevalence of suicde globally. World Suicide Prevention Day seeks to educate and give hope. The theme this year is “Creating Hope Through Action” and furthermore the Internations Association for Suicide Prevention says:
By encouraging understanding, reaching in and sharing experiences, we want to give people the confidence to take action. To prevent suicide requires us to become a beacon of light to those in pain.
Suicide statistics and facts (IASP, 2022)
- An estimated 703 000 people die by suicide worldwide each year.
- Over one in every 100 deaths (1.3%) in 2019 were the result of suicide.
- The global suicide rate is over twice as high among men than women.
- Over half (58%) of all deaths by suicide occur before the age of 50 years old.
- A previous suicide attempt is the strongest risk factor for death by suicide.
- Globally, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.
- Suicide occurs across all regions in the world, however, over three quarters (77%) of global suicides in 2019 occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
- Approximately one fifth (20%) of all suicides are the result of pesticide ingestion, particularly in rural agriculture settings. Hanging and firearms are also common methods of suicide.
- While the global rate of suicide is showing signs of a decline, this is not the case in all countries and may be indicative of greater surveillance or access to data.
- Experiences of conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, or loss and a sense of isolation are risk factors associated with suicidal behaviour.
- Suicide rates are high within vulnerable groups who are subjected to discrimination including refugees, migrants, prisoners, indigenous people, and individuals from the LGBTI+ community.
- An individual suffering with depression is twenty times more likely to die by suicide than someone without the disorder.
- Suicide remains illegal in over 20 countries, while people who engage in suicidal behaviour may be punished in some countries that follow Sharia law, involving legal penalties that range from a small fine or short prison sentence to life imprisonment.
When you should be concerned (WebMD, 2022)
There are certain signs that can help the possible victim be identified before they do something to themselves:
- Severe sadness or moodiness.
- Sleep problems.
- Sudden calmness.
- Changes in personality or appearance.
- Dangerous or self-harmful behavior
- Recent trauma or life crisis.
- Making preparations.
- Threatening or talking about suicide.
Who is most at risk? (WebMD, 2022)
- Older people who have lost a spouse through death or divorce
- People who have attempted suicide in the past
- People with a family history of suicide
- People with a friend or co-worker who have killed themselves
- People with a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
- People who are unmarried, unskilled, or unemployed
- People with long-term pain or a disabling or terminal illness
- People who are prone to violent or impulsive behavior
- People who have recently been released from a psychiatric hospitalization (This often is a very frightening period of transition.)
- People in certain professions, such as police officers and health care providers who work with terminally ill patients
- People with substance abuse problems
Where you can get help
There are many resources online and in-person that you can consult. If you are suicidal – tell someone!
- Call the police
- Take the person to the nearest hospital – never leave them alone.
- Contact the following helplines available in Namibia:
- Lifeline/Childline Namibia (Toll free for youth): 116
- Lifeline/Childline Namibia (SMS Line for adults): 0811400222
You can call the Social Workers at Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) if you need to talk to someone that will understand. At Regional Level:
- Zambezi Region: 066-251400
- Hardap Region: 063-245521
- Erongo Region: 064-4106070
- Karas Region: 063-2209068
- Kavango Region: 066-265544
- Rundu Hospital: 066-265575
- Khomas Region: 061-2033320
- Katutura Hospital: 061-2034105
- Kunene Region: 065-272800
- Ohangwena Region: 065-263023/5
- Omaheke Region: 062-577000
- Omusati Region: 065-251824
- Otjozondjupa Region: 067-224050
- Oshana Region: 065-221391
- Oshikoto Region: 067-224050
You can also contact the Employee Assistance Programme Coordinator: D/COMM Platt A.E at 0811679770 or 061-2846903.