Suicide Prevention from the Health Care and Public Health Perspectives


Karolinska Institutet, National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Stockholm, Sweden


Suicide is a global challenge accounting for more than 800,000 deaths worldwide annually according to the World Health Organization. The annual suicide rate is 15.0 per 100 000 population for males and 8.0 per 100 000 population for females (1). Suicide attempts are the single most important predictor for future suicides. There are different evidence-based strategies for suicide prevention that have illustrated efficacy in reducing suicidal behaviour. Health care strategies for suicide prevention focus on measures directed towards patients and undertaken by healthcare services including treatment for depression, chain of care, education of primary care physicians and screening in primary care. The public health approach is performed on a larger scale, targeting the general population and includes restriction of access to lethal means, school-based universal prevention programs, gatekeeper training, responsible media reporting, internet-based interventions, and crisis helplines (2). Health care and public health strategies, the role of doctor-patient relationships in the clinical practice, and the role of genetics in the causes and treatment of suicidal behaviours will be explored in the congress (3). 

1. Preventing suicide: a global imperative: World Health Organization; 2014.
2. Zalsman G, Hawton K, Wasserman D, van Heeringen K, Arensman E, Sarchiapone M, et al. Suicide prevention strategies revisited: 10-year systematic review. Lancet Psychiatry. 2016;3(7).
3. Suicide – an unnecessary death Second ed: Oxford University Press; 2016.