Objective: An estimated 41,000 lives are lost to suicide each year in World Health Organization Eastern Mediterranean Region Office (WHO EMRO) countries. The objective of this study was to conduct a situation analysis for suicide and self-harm in the WHO EMRO region. Methods: Data on suicide were obtained from the WHO Global Health Estimates for the years 2000–2019. Information on risk groups efforts to prevent self-harm and suicide in the EMRO region were retrieved through scientific studies, grey literature, and public websites. Results: During 2000–2019, the age-standardized suicide rate was 6.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, albeit there are concerns regarding data quality. Self-harm and suicide remain criminal acts in more than half of the countries. Few countries have a national plan for prevention of suicide. Toxic agents, such as pesticides and black henna, are easily available and frequently used for suicide in some areas, as are firearms and self-immolation. Successful prevention measures include means restriction and psychosocial interventions after self-harm. Conclusion: Many WHO EMRO countries remain underserved in terms of mental health care. Decriminalization of suicide and means restriction might be further promoted. Online-based tools for mental health literacy and psychosocial therapy are other options to explore.
- Eastern Mediterranean Region
- suicide attempt