Suicide from a Public Health Perspective


Said Shahtahmasebi, PhD
The Good Life Research Centre Trust, Christchurch, New Zealand

Joav Merrick, MD, MMedSci, DMSc,
Medical Director, Health Services, Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Jerusalem, Israel
Division of Adolescent Medicine, KY Children’s Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Jerusalem, Israel
Division of Pediatrics, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Centers, Mt Scopus Campus, Jerusalem, Israel
School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Series: Health and Human Development
BISAC: PSY037000

Table of Contents

It is globally agreed that suicide is a preventable and unnecessary death. Suicide is often referred to as a public health concern, but for prevention purposes, it is classified under mental health. Despite a large volume of research, only in recent years has there been an official acknowledgement of the complexity of suicide, but the whole issue of suicide including research, intervention and prevention remains firmly under the control of the mental health act in most Western countries.

There is no statistical evidence to support mental illness and depression as the main causes of suicide. How do we comfort and explain to suicide survivors suicide of a loved one having bombarded the society with the fact that suicide is a preventable death? Is it a matter of convenience for all concerned to have something to blame suicide on for our failure to prevent it? As long as we allow politics to govern suicide prevention, the cost of suicide will increase year upon year and cycles in suicide trends will continue their pattern. Prevention starts at home, in school and in the community at the earliest age possible. (Imprint: Nova Biomedical )

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