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.”
- 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.
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