First World Suicide Report released on World Suicide Prevention Day at University of Minnesota

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

For the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has created the World Suicide Report in collaboration with nations around the world. It is being released today in the USA in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day by SAVE, IASP and the University of Minnesota.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 800,000 people die by suicide each year, one person every 40 seconds, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 15-29 years old.

“The time has come to bring suicide and suicide prevention to the forefront of everyone’s mind,” said Daniel Reidenberg, Psy.D., executive director of SAVE and contributor to the World Suicide Report for the U.S. “Too many are losing their lives from a preventable death and this report helps set a framework for how to reduce this tragic loss of life.”

The public health concern posed by suicide is one experts continue to address with new strategies, treatment options and programs.

This report,Preventing suicide: A global imperative,will help inform stakeholders of evidence for key interventions showing promise in suicide reduction. This may be useful in global, national, and local policy development and implementation.”

In the United States, the Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works with many partners to apply the public health approach to suicide prevention. CDC works to describe and track the problem of suicidal behavior, increase understanding of suicide trends and patterns in the U.S., study the causes and consequences of suicidal behavior, evaluate and demonstrate ways to prevent suicidal behavior, and communicate scientific information about suicide prevention.

“Mental illnesses are very serious diseases, and can become life threatening for many who suffer from them. However, training and programs are being devised to help battle this significant public health concern,” said S. Charles Schulz, M.D., chair of the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry. “At the University of Minnesota, we strive to make accessible programs and treatments for people living with mental illness, and are pleased to continue this discussion nationally and globally as we all work together to prevent suicides.”

"Preventing suicide requires efforts from many people at many levels," said Ed Ehlinger, M.D., Minnesota Commissioner of Health. "In Minnesota, we are taking a public health approach involving communities forming suicide task forces, emergency departments connecting patients with crisis teams, agencies including suicide prevention in ongoing initiatives, and individuals receiving training to identify and support persons at risk. "