Suicide Is a Crisis—Not a Crime

One in every 100 deaths is a suicide—and in at least 20 countries, that’s considered a crime, The Guardian reports, according to a new United for Global Mental Health report released ahead of today’s World Suicide Prevention Day.
 
Making suicide a crime is counterproductive, and it fuels stigma that deters people from seeking help, says United for Global Mental Health co-founder Sarah Kline.
 
Harmful laws are most common in the LMICs that carry the heaviest toll from the crisis, says Lakshmi Vijayakumar, who founded a suicide prevention organization in Chennai, India, adding: “They directly affect the most vulnerable people in the most vulnerable countries.”
 
Facts: 

  • 700,000+ people die by suicide each year
  • 77% of all suicides occur in lower- to middle-income countries. 
  • Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death in 15- to 19-year-olds around the world, according to the WHO.

  
A bright spot: The Cayman Islands decriminalized suicide in 2020 after a campaign emphasized that only 5% of at-risk youth were seeking help because of stigma from the criminalization of suicide.

Help here: If you or someone you know may be in crisis, this CNN article details resources to help.

Related:
 
South Africa: In-Depth - Mental Health Needs of Children Falling Through the Cracks – Spotlight

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