Key facts:

• More than 700.000 people die due to suicide every year.

• Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds.

• 77% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Every year 703.000 people take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire countries and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind.Who is at risk?While the link between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders) is well established in high-income countries, many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.Methods of suicideIt is estimated that around 20% of global suicides are due to pesticide self-poisoning, most of which occur in rural agricultural areas in low- and middle-income countries. Other common methods of suicide are hanging and firearms.Prevention and controlSuicides are preventable. Suicide prevention efforts require coordination and collaboration among multiple sectors of society, including the health sector and other sectors such as education, labour, agriculture, business, justice, law, defence, politics, and the media. These efforts must be comprehensive and integrated as no single approach alone can make an impact on an issue as complex as suicide.WHO responseWHO recognizes suicide as a public health priority. Suicide is one of the priority conditions in the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP), which provides evidence-based technical guidance to scale up service provision and care in countries for mental, neurological and substance use disorders. In the WHO Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2030, WHO Member States have committed themselves to working towards the global target of reducing the suicide rate in countries by one third by 2030.