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[afro-nets] On World Mental Health Day, UN Calls for Greater Efforts to Tackle Suicide

  • From: "Vern Weitzel" <claudio@hcmc.netnam.vn>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2006 11:21:38 +0700

On World Mental Health Day, UN Calls for Greater Efforts to Tackle Suicide

Cross-posted from: UNNews@un.org

With at least 870,000 people killing themselves each year and 450 million others around the world affected by mental, neurological or behavioural problems at any given time, the United Nations today marked World Mental Health Day with calls for greater attention to be afforded to the causes and treatment of suicide. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sgsm10661.doc.htm. “Deaths due to suicide, and the factors that can lead to it, do not receive enough attention. If we add to that the many attempted suicides, we can see the real scale of this public health problem and human tragedy. Although one of the most important risk factors for suicide is the presence of a mental disorder, such as depression or schizophrenia, and there are efficient and affordable ways of dealing with these disorders, not everybody in need has access to treatment”.

The UN World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2006/pr53/en/index.html) noted that suicide in some regions, constitute the third leading cause of death in the age group 15-35 years. Suicide is the leading cause of death for this age group in China and the second in the European region.

WHO underscored the ‘huge gaps’ in treatment and resources and called for mental health policy, plans and legislation to be integrated into national health systems.

Reducing the global suicide rate means effectively addressing the serious and growing burden of mental illness around the world.

Vern Weitzel