The World Health Organization’s report on suicide: A fundamental step in worldwide suicide prevention

Suicide takes a high toll. Over 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and there are indications that for each individual who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. Notably, suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15– 29-year-olds (World Health Organization [WHO], 2014a); for young […]

Suicide prevention in the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP)

Suicide is a major public health problem accounting for almost one million deaths every year worldwide. Suicide and suicide attempts cause an immense burden to societies, not only in numbers, but also in the  suffering experienced by those affected directly and by those in their surroundings, such as family, friends, and colleagues. The inclusion of […]

The WHO START study: Suicidal behaviors across different areas of the world

Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) study entitled Suicide Trends in At-Risk Territories (START) is an international multisite initiative that aims to stimulate suicide research and prevention across different areas of the globe. A central component of the study is the development of registration systems for fatal and nonfatal suicidal behaviors. Aims: This paper provides an overview […]

The international association for suicide prevention: The first 50 years

Background: The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) was established in Vienna in 1960 and celebrated its 50th year in 2010. Aim: To review its 50 years of progress. Method: An historical and current review of activity. Results: The IASP has members in over 50 countries and is today the key nongovernment organization in official relations with the World […]

Preventing suicide: A global imperative

Every 40 seconds a person dies by suicide somewhere in the world. Over 800 000 people die by suicide every year. Yet suicides are preventable. “Preventing suicide: a global imperative” is the first WHO report of its kind. It aims to increase awareness of the public health significance of suicide and suicide attempts, to make […]

Assessing the quality of media reporting of suicide deaths in Bangladesh against World Health Organization guidelines

Background: Media reporting of suicide events has thus far gone without sufficient scrutiny in Bangladesh. Aim: The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of newspaper reporting of suicides in Bangladesh against international guidelines. Methods: We used content analysis to assess the quality of suicide reporting in six daily newspapers in Bangladesh. The newspapers were hand-searched between November […]

The WHO START study: Suicidal behaviors across different areas of the world.

The information drawn from this study demonstrates the enormous variation in suicidal behavior across the areas involved in the START Study. Further research is needed to assess the reliability of the established data-recording systems for suicidal behaviors. The baseline data established in START may allow the development of suicide prevention initiatives sensitive to variation in […]

Public health action for the prevention of suicide: A framework.


Cross-National Analysis of the Associations Among Mental Disorders and Suicidal Behavior: Findings From the WHO World Mental Health Surveys

Data on the lifetime presence & age-of-onset of mental disorders & nonfatal suicidal behaviours were collected via structured face-to-face interviews with 108,664 respondents from 21 countries. The results show each lifetime disorder examined significantly predicts the subsequent first onset of suicide attempt. After controlling for comorbidity, these associations decreased substantially but remained significant in most […]

WHO Research and Intervention Projects Into Suicidal Behaviours: the WHO/SUPRE-MISS and the WHO/START Studies

This paper discusses a few milestones in the internationalization of suicide prevention strategies, emphasizing the role of the International Association for Suicide Prevention & the International Academy for Suicide Research. The core of the discussion is the relatively recent involvement of the United Nations, particularly through their ad hoc branch. A brief description is given […]

Cross-National Analysis of the Associations Between Traumatic Events and Suicidal Behavior: Findings From the WHO World Mental Health Surveys

Data on trauma exposure & subsequent first onset of suicidal behaviour were collected via structured interviews conducted in the households of 102,245 respondents in 21 countries. Bivariate & multivariate survival models tested the relationship between the type & number of traumatic events & subsequent suicidal behaviour. Sexual & interpersonal violence showed the strongest effects. A […]

The WHO/START Study: Promoting Suicide Prevention for a Diverse Range of Cultural Contexts

The WHO/START study is introduced & described in its 4 main components. The study originated as a response to growing concerns about trends of suicide, the prevalence of which in the Western Pacific Region is the highest among the six regions of the World Health Organization. So far, 19 centres have joined the study. This […]

Suicide: Definitions, Statistics and Interventions at the International Level (IN: Suicide: Stategies and Interventions for Reduction and Prevention, ed. by S Palmer)


WHO Report Shows Public Health Impact of Violence


Deaths From Pesticide Poisoning: a Global Response

Self-poisoning with pesticides accounts for about a third of all suicides worldwide. To tackle this problem, the World Health Organization announced a global public health initative in the second half of 2005. Planned approaches were to range from government regulatory action to the development of new treatments for pesticide poisoning. With broad-based support, this strategy […]

The WHO European Monitoring Surveys on National Suicide Preventive Programmes and Strategies

The results of two World Health Organization European monitoring surveys on national suicide preventive programmes & strategies carried out in 52 member states in October 2001-February 2002 & October 2003-February 2004 are summarised. Countries are divided into two groups with respect to the existence of national suicide preventive initiatives. Suicide preventive activities within the mental […]

Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Suicide-Related Outcomes in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys Japan


Ageing and Suicide

This book begins by discussing the burden of suicide, specifically the number of deaths by suicide & the number of people consequently bereaved. Transcultural comparisons of suicide are made & the focus of discussion then moves to Australia. Information is provided on epidemiological data, suicide methods, methods of attempted suicide, & psychosocial risk factors for […]

Conclusions and Recommendations of the Meeting on Suicide Prevention in the Western Pacific Region 15-19 August 2005, WHO Regional Office, Manila

This document is an excerpt from a larger report from WHO’s Regional Office for the Western Pacific. A number of recommendations are made, including the collection of valid & reliable data to support suicide prevention programs; the support of WHO in the development & implementation of national strategies for member countries in this region; & […]

Regional Strategy for Mental Health

This regional strategy for mental health has been prepared to support Western Pacific governments in their efforts to improve mental health & intergrte services for people with mental disorder. Six key approaches are incorporated into the strategy: advocacy, service provision, mental health promotion, policy & legislation, encouraging the development of a research culture & capacity, […]

Policy Issues in Mental Health Care: Selected Reports From the WHO Health Evidence Network

In January 2005, the WHO Regional Office for Europe sponsored a conference on mental health. This book contains 4 selected reports distributed to partipants, including: “What is the Evidence on Effectiveness of Capacity Building of Primary Health Care Professionals in the Detection, Management and Outcome of Depression?”, “For Which Strategies of Suicide Prevention is There […]

A Global Perspective in the Epidemiology of Suicide


Suicide and Psychiatric Diagnosis: a Worldwide Perspective