Mental health

Suicide attempt surveillance

Improved surveillance and monitoring of suicide attempts and self-harm is a core element of suicide prevention and needed for all countries.

The Practice manual for establishing and maintaining surveillance systems for suicide attempts and self-harm aims to provide a tool for countries to use in setting up a public health surveillance system for suicide attempts and self-harm cases presenting to general hospitals, based on medical records.

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.

Suicide data

Over 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and there are many more who attempt suicide. Hence, many millions of people are affected or experience suicide bereavement every year. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and was the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally in 2012. It is a global phenomenon in all regions of the world; in fact, 75% of global suicide occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2012. Suicide accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 15th leading cause of death in 2012. Effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts.


fact buffet


> 800 000persons die from suicide globally each year - one death every 40 seconds

Fact sheet

Data quality

60countries have good-quality vital registration data on suicide

Quality of suicide mortality data

National strategy

28countries are reported having one for suicide prevention

WHO MiNDbank

Just published

Three case studies exploring the feasibility of secure storage of pesticides in rural communities are summarized.

Key publication

Preventing suicide: a global imperative

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

Relevant publications