WHO National Suicide prevention strategies

WHO National Suicide Prevention Plans
WHO has released a report on national suicide prevention plans.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a status report on national suicide prevention plans. The report emphasizes that national plans are important for setting the topic of suicide prevention on the political agenda. A national strategy with an accompanying prevention plan is essential to implement suicide prevention. Without an overarching plan, efforts are at risk of failing and suicide rates remaining unchanged.

The report aims to be a resource tool to inspire governments and policy-makers to implement a national action plan in the field. Examples of national action plans from different WHO regions are presented.

Link to report: https://www.who.int/mental_health/suicide-prevention/national_strategies_2019/en/

In 2021, WHO released guidelines on how to implement a suicide prevention plan. The guide, which called “Live Life”, provides concrete instructions on how to facilitate suicide prevention. It can be used to design national efforts, but the instructions also apply to smaller geographical or administrative units, such as local communities. The guidelines describes how to organize efforts and provides examples of concrete interventions, which previously have been shown to be effective.

Link to LIVE LIFE: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240026629

DRISP has contributed to the international work of suicide prevention. As a consultant for WHO, Annette Erlangsen has conducted a situation analysis of suicide and attempted suicide in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region (WHO EMRO) from 2000 to 2020. WHO EMRO consists of the countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen.

The analysis found that:

  1. In more than half of the studied countries, data on suicide was either insufficient or of poor quality, making it challenging to monitor the incidence of suicide.
  2. From 2000 to 2019, there was a 7.6% decrease in the suicide rate in the region, primarily among women.
  3. In more than half of the countries, suicide is still considered a criminal act. This is problematic as it can potentially imply that individuals at risk of suicide might not seek help.

The situational analysis can be found here: