Suicidal behavior has existed throughout human history, but due to several complex factors, it has increased gradually in all parts of the world and, in the past few decades, has reached alarming statistical levels.
While the WHO has made suicide a priority issue for a number of years, it is important to emphasize that it is a topic that has attracted the interest of most fields of study for centuries, which is why it has been explored by philosophy, religion, medicine, sociology, bioethics, law, and psychology, among other fields.
According to the WHO, more than 800,000 people die by suicide a year, making it the principal cause of death among people fifteen to twenty-nine years old.
It is often believed that it is only adults who exhibit suicidal behaviors, but it should be made known that many children and young people engage in this kind of behavior as a result of violence, sexual abuse, bullying and cyberbullying.
Suicide is a global public health problem that deserves the attention of all the actors in the field of mental health, including scientific and professional organizations, organizations for mental health users and their families, and universities. It deserves particular attention from national health authorities, since it is their responsibility to craft policies and directives aimed at establishing strategies to prevent suicide and promote the public's mental health.
There are numerous complex factors that contribute to a suicide, but what is most important is that all of our actions must be geared toward prevention. Accordingly, it is important that trans-sectoral and interdisciplinary action be taken by all of the actors involved.
The objective of making suicide prevention the theme of World Mental Health Day in 2019 is to attract the attention of governments so that the issue might be given priority in public health agendas around the world.