Suicide: A Rising Global Issue


Suicide is considered the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally. In fact, it accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 18th leading cause of death in 2016.

In a world where people are always judged for their words and actions, where little emphasis is given to mental health concerns, where do people experiencing mental health issues go? Nowadays, people seem to underrate mental health and the significant effects it may pose to our society. Very little to no regard is given to these kinds of issues since the nations have been overly concerned with political issues, territorial domains, and diplomatic relations. We have forgotten for a while that mental health is also one thing we must focus on.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

Mental health refers to our cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being — it is all about how we think, feel, and behave. The term ‘mental health’ is sometimes used to mean an absence of a mental disorder.

Mental health symbol conceptual design isolated on white background

Importance of Having a Sound Mind

A person having a sound mind or a good mental health is actually easy to communicate and work with. Having a healthy mind keeps a worker productive at work, so misunderstandings and low productivity or sales are avoided. A person with a sound mind also serves as the sunshine to our bad days, since most of them are always positive and full of energy. They could think straight and walk out of a bad situation without having too much difficulty. So having a sound mind is really essential to everyday life.

Suicide data

According again to WHO, close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is a global phenomenon and occurs throughout the lifespan.  There are indications that for each adult who died by suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.

For us, this is a rising number and an alarming issue. Suicide is the effect of a mental issue not treated immediately. It is not a mental disorder, but one of the most important causes of suicide is mental illness – most often Depression, Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression), Schizophrenia, and Substance Use Disorders.

People who experience mental illness like depression have a hard time talking about it. Actually, they don’t talk about it, you can just see it in their actions. Depressed people tend to shy away from others and isolate themselves in fear of being judged once they open up with someone about what they are experiencing. Only a few are really open about it, but only when they have confirmed that there are people who have their backs–people who will go out of their way just to help.

“Mental illness is not a personal failure. In fact, if there is failure, it is to be found in the way we have responded to people with mental and brain disorders,” said Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of WHO, on releasing the World Health Report. “I hope this report will dispel long-held doubts and dogma and mark the beginning of a new public health era in the field of mental health,” she added.

Philippine Context

In the Philippines, there were also reported cases of suicide. And most of them we learn through social media platforms–some of them are even live streamed, which seems alarming. A number of media personalities have also been recorded to have committed suicide in the past year. It only goes to show that even successful people can experience mental health issues like depression, and when not acted on immediately, leads to suicide attempts.

A Call for Action

Because of this alarming issue on suicide, immediate action must be done. Programs for mental health must be intensified and prioritized along with other key issues not only in the Philippines but also in other states. Factors which lead to these problems must be identified and addressed, and we need dedicated people to do that.

If you know someone who is experiencing mental health issues, don’t hesitate to lend an hear or helping hand to them. You might be the one who could save them.




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