Mental health

WHO releases progress in national suicide prevention strategies

29 January 2019 - This document aims to serve as a resource and inspire governments and policy-makers to establish their own national suicide prevention strategy.

Examples from each WHO Region show the variety of approaches undertaken and the indicators that have been chosen. The elements for developing, implementing and evaluating a national suicide prevention strategy are described and actions to overcome common barriers are presented.

Latest data on suicide

August 2018 - Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Many more attempt suicide. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally. It is a global phenomenon; in fact, 79% of suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2016. Suicide accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 18th leading cause of death in 2016. Effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts.

Community engagement toolkit

10 September 2018 - Communities have an important role to play in suicide prevention. They can provide support to people who are vulnerable and to those who have made an attempt on their life. They can provide comfort to people who have lost someone to suicide and can also help fight stigma.

WHO’s Preventing suicide: a community engagement toolkit, released today, is a step-by-step guide for people who would like to initiate suicide prevention activities in their community. It includes advice and practical tools to help with goal setting, stakeholder mapping and development of an action plan as well as details of successful initiatives in Canada, India, Kenya, Nepal, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA.

Suicide in the SDGs

Suicide is among the proposed indicators of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This year’s World Health Statistics 2016: Monitoring health for the SDGs brings together the most recent data on the health-related indicators within the SDGs.


fact buffet


800 000people die due to suicide every year

Fact sheet

Data quality

80countries have good-quality vital registration data on suicide

Quality of suicide mortality data

National strategy

38countries report having a national strategy for suicide prevention

WHO MiNDbank


Preventing suicide: a global imperative

WHO’s first report on preventing suicide is a call to take action.

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