Preventing suicide: a global imperative



2014, 92 pages
ISBN 978 92 4 156477 9
Free of charge

This report is the first WHO publication of its kind and brings together what is known in a convenient form so that immediate actions can be taken. It aims to increase the awareness of the public health significance of suicide and suicide attempts, to make suicide prevention a higher priority on the global public health agenda and to encourage and support countries to develop or strengthen comprehensive suicide prevention strategies in a multisectoral public health approach. For a national suicide prevention strategy, it is essential that governments assume their role of leadership, as they can bring together a multitude of stakeholders who may not otherwise collaborate. Governments are also in a unique position to develop and strengthen surveillance and to provide and disseminate data that are necessary to inform action. This report proposes practical guidance on strategic actions that governments can take on the basis of their resources and existing suicide prevention activities. In particular, there are evidence-based and low-cost interventions that are effective, even in resource-poor settings.

The report is intended to be a resource that will allow policy-makers and other stakeholders to make suicide prevention an imperative. Only then can countries develop a timely and effective national response and, thus, lift the burden of suffering caused by suicide and suicide attempts from individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.