Mental health

Surveillance of suicide and suicide attempts

May 2017 - Close to 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 is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally. It is a global phenomenon in all regions of the world; in fact, 78% of global suicide 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.

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.

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.


fact buffet


800 000persons approximately 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

Key publication

Preventing suicide: a global imperative

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

Related publications