The World Health Organisation said on Monday that the global suicide rate had fallen somewhat between 2010 and 2016, but the number of deaths has remained about the same because of a growing global population.
In a new report released ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, the UN health agency said the global suicide rate in 2016 - the last year for which data was available - stood at 10.5 per 100,000 people.
Overall, the global suicide rate fell by nearly 10 percent from 2010 to 2016, with the western Pacific showing declines of nearly 20 per cent and Southeast Asia registering a decline of only 4.2 per cent.
The overall decline is explained by the fact that a number of countries - 38 in total - have put in place suicide prevention strategies, WHO said, stressing however that many more countries must follow suit.
Most suicides happen in low- and middle-income countries, where most of the global population lives, but rates are higher in wealthier countries, the WHO report found.
In almost every country, men are more likely than women to commit suicide.
Only in five countries - Bangladesh, China, Lesotho, Morocco, and Myanmar - do women commit suicide at a higher rate than men.
Young people are especially vulnerable: More than half of all those who commit suicide are under the age of 45.
The WHO said it was launching a one-month campaign starting on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, including the launch of a resource booklet for filmmakers.
It will warn of the dangers of graphic descriptions or depictions of suicide, which have been shown to trigger copycat suicides among people struggling with mental health issues.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts, there are many resources available to help you:
- The Samaritans: 2896 0000
- The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong offers online support at help4suicide.com.hk and a 24 hour hotline: 2389 2222
- Suicide Prevention Service: 2382 0000
- HKFYG Counselling Service: 2777 8899
- HKFYG uTouch Portal has an online chat forum from 2pm to midnight (Monday to Saturday) at utouch.hk