Guyana has highest suicide rate globally – WHO

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suicide_speak_reach[www.inewsguyana.com] – The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its first global report on suicide prevention revealed that Guyana is the country with the highest estimated suicide rate for 2012 globally with Suriname ranking as the sixth highest.

According to the report, “Suicide rates in this Region show a first peak among the young, remain at the same level for other age groups and rise again in elderly men. In high-income countries, hanging accounts for 50% of suicides, and firearms are the second most common method, accounting for 18% of suicides.”

The WHO further noted that the relatively high proportion of suicides by firearms in high-income countries is primarily driven by high-income countries in the Americas where firearms account for 46% of all suicides; in other high-income countries firearms account for only 4.5% of all suicides.

The report noted that more than 800, 000 people die by suicide every year – around one person every 40 seconds. Some 75% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Pesticide poisoning, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally. Evidence from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and a number of European countries reveals that limiting access to these means can help prevent people dying by suicide.

The report noted that another key to reducing deaths by suicide is a commitment by national governments to the establishment and implementation of a coordinated plan of action.

Currently, only 28 countries are known to have national suicide prevention strategies. Globally, suicide rates are highest in people aged 70 years and over.

In some countries, however, the highest rates are found among the young. Notably, suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year-olds globally.

“This report is a call for action to address a large public health problem which has been shrouded in taboo for far too long” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO.

According to the report, generally, more men die by suicide than women. In richer countries, three times as many men die by suicide than women. Men aged 50 years and over are particularly vulnerable.

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