WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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PERSPECTIVE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-33

Challenges and opportunities in suicide prevention in South-East Asia


Sneha – Suicide Prevention Centre and Voluntary Health Services, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Lakshmi Vijayakumar
Sneha – Suicide Prevention Centre and Voluntary Health Services, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206161

PMID: 28597856

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Suicide is a global public health problem, with over 800 000 people worldwide dying by suicide in 2012, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO South-East Asia Region is especially affected, with 39% of global suicides occurring in the 11 countries in this region. Women are a particularly vulnerable population, for a variety of social and cultural reasons. In India specifically, deaths by suicide for women peak in the age range 15–29 years. There is sufficient evidence to show that reduction of easy access to means of suicide is an effective prevention strategy. A common method of suicide in the region is by ingestion of pesticides. Strategies that have targeted limiting access to pesticides as a means of preventing suicide, such as the use of central storage and locked boxes, have shown promising results. Given the limited human and economic resources in these countries, it is essential to involve all stakeholders, including health services, voluntary and community organizations, teachers, social workers, traditional healers and other gatekeepers, in suicide prevention. A multisectoral approach, specifically targeting women and reducing easy access to pesticides, should be the way forward to reducing suicides in this region. In addition, more research is needed, to identify cost-effective and sustainable strategies.


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