Special section on suicide prevention and response
September 10th 2021 marks World Suicide Prevention Day. Intervention published its issue on the same day with a special section dedicated to articles on suicide prevention and response. The bundle of publications focus on refugees and other conflict-affected populations in low- and middle-income countries. The submissions demonstrate that it is possible to create hope through action.
A public health crisis
Globally, suicide is a serious public health issue: close to 700,000 people die by suicide every year. For every suicide, there are many more who attempt suicide. In fact, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world, and every year more people die due to suicide than to malaria, HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, or war/homicide.
Little data on refugees
Data around suicidality amongst asylum seekers and refugees is missing and often incomplete. Most of this evidence is collected in high-income countries, with very little data available from low- and middle-income countries, which host 85% of the global refugee population.
‘In this difficult area of work, it is possible to create hope through action’
Submissions from Lebanon, Nepal, Eritrea and more
Intervention’s special section documents different aspects of suicide prevention and response among refugee and other conflict-affected populations in a variety of settings. The special section includes articles:
- Evaluating services such as Lebanon’s national hotline for emotional support and suicide prevention;
- TPO’s community-based suicide prevention activities in Nepal operating in a context where mental health and psychosocial support is limited;
- CVT Ethiopia’s work with unaccompanied and separated young people in Eritrea providing a range of support from intensive individual and group counselling, to psychoeducation, capacity building, and public awareness and stigma reduction.
- The special section also features articles detailing challenges around suicide in the Middle East.
Creating hope through action
Several countries have recently adopted a national strategy for suicide prevention and we have two articles describing the development of these strategies in Iraq and Palestine. There are many other articles too and Intervention is grateful for the submissions which taken together demonstrate that in this difficult area of work it is possible to create hope through action. Intervention is grateful to the strong team of guest editors which assisted us in putting together the special section. They are Dr Laksmi Vijayakumar, Dr Rabih El Chammay, Ms Johanna Lechner, and Dr Pieter Ventevogel. We also like to thank GIZ for contributing to this special section.