Mental health

WHO releases guidance on responsible reporting on suicide

1 September 2017 - There is evidence that media reports about suicide can enhance or weaken suicide prevention efforts. The booklet “Preventing suicide: a resource for media professionals“ provides guidance for journalists on responsible reporting on suicide. Close to 800 000 people die by suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds.

Latest data on suicide

May 2017 - Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Many more attempt suicide. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally. It is a global phenomenon; in fact, 78% of suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2015. Suicide accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 17th leading cause of death in 2015. Effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts.

Suicide in the SDGs

Suicide is among the proposed indicators of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This year’s World Health Statistics 2016: Monitoring health for the SDGs brings together the most recent data on the health-related indicators within the SDGs.

Community engagement toolkit

Communities can play a critical role in suicide prevention. Facilitating community engagement in suicide prevention is an important task. The toolkit is a step-by-step guide for communities to engage in suicide prevention activities and have ownership of the process and keep efforts sustained.

It is hoped that the pilot version will be used, after necessary adaptation, in many countries and contexts, so that the final product can be strengthened and become more effective and user-friendly.


fact buffet


800 000people die due to suicide every year

Fact sheet

Data quality

60countries have good-quality vital registration data on suicide

Quality of suicide mortality data

National strategy

28countries report having a national strategy for suicide prevention

WHO MiNDbank


Preventing suicide: a global imperative

WHO’s first report on preventing suicide is a call to take action.

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