India has highest number of suicides in the world: WHO report
GENEVA: India accounted for the highest estimated
number of suicides in the world in 2012, according to a WHO report published in
Thursday which found that one person commits suicide every 40 seconds globally.
In the WHO South-East Asia Region, the estimated
suicide rate is the highest as compared to other WHO regions. Suicide rates
show a peak among the young and the elderly, the report said.
Most suicides in the world occur in the South-East
Asia Region (39 per cent of those in low- and middle-income countries in
South-East Asia alone) with India accounting for the highest estimated number
of suicides overall in 2012.
According to the report, 258,075 people committed
suicide in India in 2012, with 99,977 women and 158,098 men taking their own
lives. India's suicide rate was 21.1 per 100,000 people, according to the
“This report, the first WHO publication of its kind,
presents a comprehensive overview of suicide, suicide attempts and successful
suicide prevention efforts worldwide. We know what works. Now is the time to
act,” said Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and
Substance Abuse at WHO.
The most suicide-prone countries were Guyana (44.2 per
100,000), followed by North and South Korea (38.5 and 28.9 respectively).
Next came Sri Lanka (28.8), Lithuania (28.2), Suriname
(27.8), Mozambique (27.4), Nepal and Tanzania (24.9 each), Burundi (23.1),
India (21.1) and South Sudan (19.8). More than 800,000 people die by suicide
every year — around one person every 40 seconds, according to the report. Some
75 per cent of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Pesticide poisoning, hanging and firearms are among
the most common methods of suicide globally. Suicide by intentional pesticide
ingestion is of particular concern in rural agricultural areas in the
South-East Asia Region, the report said.