WHO launches campaign on suicide prevention


10 September–10 October 2019

Every 40 seconds, 1 person dies from suicide. On 10 September, WHO, in collaboration with global partners, the World Federation for Mental Health, the International Association for Suicide Prevention and United for Global Mental Health, is launching the “40 seconds of action” campaign. The culmination of the campaign will be on World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, the focus of which is also suicide prevention this year.

The campaign, “40 seconds of action” aims to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play in helping to prevent it.

Some key facts about suicide:

  • The majority of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries. The suicide rate is highest in high-income countries. This means that suicide is a public health problem in countries of all income levels.
  • Both men and women die by suicide; nearly 3 times as many men as women die by suicide in high-income countries, in contrast to low- and middle-income countries, where the rate is more equal.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15–29 years.
  • Suicides are preventable; for a sustainable reduction in suicides, all countries must incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programmes.