MANILA, Philippines – Every 40 seconds, a person takes his or her own life.
According to the World Health Organization, 2,160 individuals across the world take their own life every single day. As such, concerned groups say it is a serious mental health problem and should be a health priority.
Here at home, local non-government organizations and the academe have come together to make the public and media aware that suicide is preventable -- all the more now that it is on the rise.
Globally, 60% of suicides are among the youth, mostly from developing countries.
Dr. Erminia Colucci, a suicidologist from the University of Melbourne in Australia, shares that based on their surveys there are eight signs that indicate a person is thinking of ending his or her own life.
- Threatening to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves like pills, poisons or weapons
- Expressing hopelessness
- Stopping live-saving medical treatments
- Expressing in words and actions that suicide is the only solution to their problems
- Expressing a lack of reasons for living or having no purpose in life
- Expressing in words and actions the desire of hope that they will die; and
- Engaging in self-injurious behaviour such as cutting, poisoning, or hitting their heads against the wall.
The local NGO, Awit Foundation, believe suicides are preventable and they are appealing to the media for help.
“Ang aming gusto sa media ay prevention, role ng media universal prevention kung tawagin para maturuan namni yung public we would like the media to help us educate people on what prevents suicide,” said Dr. Dina Nahdera of the Awit Foundation.
“Media need not put too much unnecessary details of the suicide to avoid so-called ‘copycat suicides,’” added Colucci.
“Media do have a role in prevention of suicides, one is over reporting news can make people more vulnerable, but also what I'm writing about can actually help to prevent suicide,” Colucci added.
The group plans to make a tour of newsrooms to further their cause.
Guidelines for media reporting suicides can be found at www.mindframe-media.info
They also strongly suggest .that in all news reports about suicides, helpline numbers like that of the Natasha Goulbourn foundation's information and crises intervention center be included. Goulbourn’s foundation’s helpline is 804-HOPE
Awit Foundation also suggests to get a copy of the suicide first aid guidelines for the Philippines or download it at their website at http://www.foundationawit.com.