Mental health

Suicide prevention

Magnitude of the problem

Suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for all ages. Every year, over 800.000 people die from suicide.

Risk factors

Mental illness, primarily depression and alcohol use disorders, abuse, violence, loss, cultural and social background, represent major risk factors for suicide.

Prevention

Restriction of access to means of suicide, such as toxic substances and firearms, identification and management of persons suffering from mental and substance use disorders, improved access to health and social services, and responsible reporting of suicide by the media are effective strategies for the prevention of suicide.

Latest publications

Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020

The action plan recognizes the essential role of mental health in achieving health for all people. It aims to achieve equity through universal health coverage and stresses the importance of prevention.

Integrating the response to mental health disorders and other chronic diseases in health care systems

Strong links exist between mental disorders and other chronic diseases, not only with respect to their causes and consequences, but also in terms of their prevention and management.

Innovation in deinstitutionalization: a WHO expert survey

A WHO expert survey to identify principles and actions for expanding community-based mental health services, and/or to downsize institution-based care.

Social determinants of mental health

This paper highlights effective actions that can be taken to reduce risk of mental disorders throughout the life course, both at the community level and country level.

WHO MIND Project