Suicide is 10th leading cause of death worldwide

(PIA 6) – There are several ways in which a person can respond and reach out to people who have suicidal tendencies, according to the Department of Health (DOH)-6.

Dr. May Ann Sta. Lucia, DOH-6 Medical Officer for non-communicable disease cluster, during a press conference held at the Forest Park here, said those who have suicidal inclination can be referred to mental health facilities.

She said if the person is violent, he or she must be sent to the hospital, while non-violent individuals can be referred to a psychiatrist.

Family members must limit access of the patient to lethal weapons like firearms and sharp objects.

Furthermore, family members must also increase contact with the patient, and must have the telephone numbers of the police, hospitals and the Bureau of Fire Protection in case of emergencies relating to suicide attempts.

Sta. Lucia said medication is necessary, but the proper type of therapy like counseling and support from the community and family members are more essential in helping individuals who are contemplating on committing suicide.

Close to a million people die each year because of suicide, the tenth leading cause of death worldwide, she said.

In Negros Occidental, there is a total of 8 fatalities this year because of suicide, records from the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office showed.

According to the DOH-6’s data obtained from various city and provincial offices in Western Visayas, Iloilo City has the highest cases of suicide with 10 completed suicides and two attempts this year.

Aklan has five cases of suicide while Guimaras has none. Bacolod City and the provinces of Antique, Capiz and Iloilo have not submitted their records yet.

Sta. Lucia said the three common risk factors that urge people to commit suicide are as follows: mental condition, of which 78-98 percent of the cases are due to depression; the availability of means such as firearms, sharp objects and medicine; and a history of an attempted suicide.

Lack of family support, the presence of terminal illnesses, and death in the family, among others, are also risk factors in committing suicide.

Sta. Lucia said suicide varies from country to country and in the Philippines, hanging and ingesting pesticides are the most common.

The period of September 9 to 13 is observed as the National Suicide Prevention Week in the country, while September 10 is observed as Suicide Prevention Day worldwide. (JCM/CBA/PIA6 – Negros Occidental)

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