Some 800 000 die of suicide globally every year: Haimene

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that a person dies of suicide every 40 seconds in the world, leading to the loss of some 800 000 lives each year worldwide.

Director of Health and Social Services in Oshana Region, Johanna Haimene said this whilst addressing the commemoration of 2019 World Mental Health Day at Oshakati on Thursday.

Haimene said a total of 79 per cent of the world's suicide occurred in the low-and-middle-income countries where majority countries are from Africa, and the 21 per cent is for high-income countries.

According to Haimene, local statistics indicate about 22 individuals kill themselves from 100 000 population in Namibia compared to 11 individuals out 100 000 people worldwide.

She went on to say suicide is the second leading cause of death among the people, especially of the age between 15 and 29 worldwide, following the road crashes.

Haimene stated that Namibia is the 4th highest country in Africa and 11th globally in terms of suicide rate, after Mozambique, Tanzania and Burundi.

In 2017, Haimene noted, about 425 people committed suicide in Namibia. While 2 190 have been reported committed suicide between 2012 and 2016 in Namibia, and a total of 25 000 people have attempted suicide in 2015 alone, explained the Oshana Health Director, adding that suicide is the worst decision someone can take in his or her life.

She emphasized that Namibia is losing a lot of younger and productive generation due to suicide yearly, while on the other hand suggested a good strategy to be put in place to reduce the high rate of suicide the country is facing.

The most common methods of suicide, according to Haimene, are hanging, pesticide self-poisoning and firearms.

She stated that among the key interventions that have shown success in reducing suicides are implementation of programmes among young people to build life skills that enable them to cope with life stresses and early identification, management and follow-up of people at risk of suicide.

The World Mental Health Day of this year is commemorated under the theme Working Together to Prevent Suicide: a day for 40 seconds of action.

Source: Namibia Press Agency