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News Article

Suicide Rate Grows 24 Percent in Three Years

By Miriam Bello | Mon, 09/12/2022 - 15:59

Suicides in Mexico grew 24 percent in the past three years, going from 6,000 in 2018 to 8,448 in 2021, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). The most vulnerable were those between 15 and 29 years old. 

INEGI published this and other concerning indicators in the wake of the World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). “Deaths due to self-inflicted injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the population aged 15 to 29 years old, only below assaults, accidents and COVID-19. In men, it is the third cause of death, while in women it is the fifth,” said INEGI. 

The theme of this year’s WSPD is “Creating hope through action,” aiming to reflect the need for collective actions to address “this urgent public health issue,” said the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). “All of us- family members, friends, co-workers, community members, educators, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, political officials and governments- can take action to prevent suicide in the region,” said the organization.

Suicide prevention is a major goal for care providers globally, as this suicide rates keep increasing across the world. Every year, over 700,000 people take their own life, 70 percent of them in low and middle-income countries. Because of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) stresses the need to improve the availability and quality of data on suicide and suicide attempts to improve surveillance and reduce their prevalence. 

The WHO implement several actions to address the issue and break the stigma and taboo surrounding suicide. The organization encouraged world governments to prioritize suicide prevention in public health agendas by building multisectoral approaches for the different population groups that are differently vulnerable to suicide. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to reduce premature deaths by one-third by 2030 through the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases and the promotion of mental health and wellbeing.

Mexico implemented the National Program for Suicide Prevention, which is based on timely interventions, treatment and support at all levels of care for anyone who requires these services regardless of their socioeconomic status or place of residence. The Ministry of Health explains that a comprehensive network of health services is used in this program, which adds to community efforts to promote communication of people’s emotions, concerns and thoughts. Those interested can access these services through a government webpage or call a phone number to receive psychological support. 

Through social media, civil associations are also offering tools for users struggling with suicidal thoughts. For instance, Confianza e Impulso Ciudadano (Confidence and Citizen Impulse) has a Twitter button through which users can reach out for help. 

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst