World Suicide Prevention Day 2020: Significance of suicide amid coronavirus pandemic
World Suicide Prevention Day 2020: Significance of suicide amid coronavirus pandemic

As the world deals with the deadly coronavirus pandemic, it is important to take care of our mental health. There can be many reasons which can drive people to commit suicide. Depression, anxiety, fear, nervousness, defeat, lack of confidences are some of the reasons why people commit suicide.

With that said, in 2003, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) to spread awareness to prevent suicides.

So, on the occasion of the World Suicide Prevention Day, which is an awareness day observed every year on September 10, let's look at its significance in 2020 as the world deals with the pandemic.

Nearly 80,000 people die by committing suicide each year, as per a collection done by WHO. That means, 1 death occurs every 40 seconds.

However, with World Suicide Prevention Day, we highlight ways that individuals can work towards to prevent suicide. Moreso, amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic, when mental health needs to be of utmost priority.

With the economy going down the drain, many have lost their jobs and are forced to stay home due to the government imposed lockdown. With less travelling options, individuals are not able to meet their peers and connect for over five months now.

The current circumstances have made it the most important time to focus on suicide prevention.

And that is why, a mental health action plan should be followed. Devised by WHO, a comprehensive mental health action plan 2013-2020 was adopted by the 66th World Health Assembly.

"It focuses international attention on a long-neglected problem and is firmly rooted in the principles of human rights. The action plan calls for changes. It calls for a change in the attitudes that perpetuate stigma and discrimination that have isolated people since ancient times, and it calls for an expansion of services in order to promote greater efficiency in the use of resources," WHO said.

Here are the four major objectives of the action plan:

  • Strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health.

  • Provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings.

  • Implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health.

  • Strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health.

"Each of the four objectives is accompanied by one or two specific targets, which provide the basis for measurable collective action and achievement by Member States towards global goals. A set of core indicators relating to these targets as well as other actions have been developed and are being collected via the Mental Health Atlas project on a periodic basis," WHO added.

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