One in a hundred deaths globally can directly be attributed to suicide, the World Health Organization reported on Thursday, arguing that the COVID-19 outbreak has increased factors for suicide worldwide.
In 2019, more than 700,000 people died of suicide, one in 100 deaths, which was more than HIV, malaria, wars or homicide. The same year, prior to the global pandemic, the global suicide rate was decreasing everywhere, the organization declared, with exception of the Americas region that saw increases of 17 percent. However, that situation is likely to change as the spread of the novel coronavirus caused turmoil in societies, increasing factors of suicide globally, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained. “Our attention to suicide prevention is even more important now, after many months living with the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of the risk factors for suicide — job loss, financial stress and social isolation — still very much present,” Tedros said.
The WHO announced series of guidance, under the name LIVE LIFE, to improve suicide prevention. The role of media was emphasized by the organization that declared that many reports of suicide, especially if they described the methods used or focused on celebrities, could increase risks of so-called “copycat suicides.” “We cannot — and must not — ignore suicide. Each one is a tragedy,” declared Tedros.