9 Countries With The Highest Suicide Rate

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Written By Chinyere Akalugwu

 

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Lesotho has the highest suicide rate in the world with a total of 87.5 suicides for every 100,000 persons.

According to the World Health Organisation, 703 000 people kill themselves, and many more still try to kill themselves. Every suicide is a tragedy that hurts families, communities, and even whole countries, and the people left behind feel the effects for a long time. 

Suicide can happen at any time in a person’s life, and it was the fourth most common cause of death in the world for people ages 15 to 29 in 2019.

Even though most countries with the highest suicide rate are poor, a surprising number of highly developed and wealthy countries score quite high in these depressing numbers.

Men are three times more prone than women to kill themselves. Most of the time, people use poison, hang themselves, or use weapons.

In this article, we will discuss countries with the highest suicide rates in the world. Keep reading. 

Countries with highest suicide rate

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Who Is At Risk Of Committing Suicide?

In many high-income countries, there is a strong connection between suicide and psychiatric disorders, especially depression, anxiety and alcohol use disorders.

Unfortunately, many suicides still happen out of the blue when people lose the ability to deal with life’s pressure, such as financial difficulties, a broken relationship, or chronic pain and illness.

Suicidal behavior is also strongly linked to things like war, disaster, violence, abuse, loss, and a feeling of loneliness. Refugees and migrants, members of the LGBTQ, and prisoners are all vulnerable groups that feel marginalized and have high suicide rates. 

Countries With The Highest Suicide Rate

1. Lesotho

Lesotho has the highest suicide rate in the world

Lesotho has the highest suicide rate per capita in the world. Lesotho has a clear mental health crisis because of how many people are killing themselves. Even so, Lesotho still has no national plan for addressing mental health issues.

Overall, mental health isn’t given much attention, and getting help has such a bad reputation that people feel it’s better to suffer alone or make the terrible choice to end their own lives.

The crisis is largely caused by decades of poverty, grief and loss caused by the AIDS pandemic, a lack of job opportunities, and a general feeling that there is no hope for the future.

Lesotho has a suicide rate of 87.5 suicides per 100,000 persons making it the highest in the world.

2. Guyana

Guyana

With an average of 40 suicides per 100,000 people, Guyana has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world.

Guyana has a high suicide rate for many reasons, including poverty, a strong stigma about mental illness, easy access to chemicals that can kill, alcohol abuse, violence between people, broken families, and insufficient mental health resources.

With a GDP per person of $4,240, Guyana is one of the Caribbean’s poorest countries. About 60% of Guyana’s 800,000 people live in small villages on the coast, where there aren’t many jobs, and there aren’t many community resources like mental health facilities.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, about 70% of the country’s suicides happen in rural areas. People in these places often drink or hurt themselves to deal with feelings of hopelessness, poverty, and economic despair.

3. Kiribati

Kiribati

Even though the suicide death rate per 100,000 people in Kiribati has changed a lot in recent years, it has tended to go down between 2000 to 2019, ending at 28.3 per 100,000 people in 2019.

In 2015, there 16 suicides were recorded. Twelve of them were men, and four were women. So, 22.89 men out of every 100,000 committed suicide, while only 6.31 women did the same. This number has slightly declined in 2022; however, the suicide rate still remains one of the highest in the world.

Statistics show that suicides were the leading unnatural cause of death in the world in 2014.

In Kiribati, suicide is also one of the main reasons why people die for no obvious reason. Kiribati, on the other hand, only had eight murders, while there were a lot more suicides than murders. There were two suicides for every murder.

4. Micronesia

Micronesia

After the middle of the 1960s, suicide rates on most of the Micronesian islands went up sharply, and by the 1980s, they were at an alarmingly high level. On the islands of Micronesia, there were so many suicides that it was like an epidemic. 

In the States of Micronesia (FSM), Palau, and the Marshall Islands, the suicide rate has been between 25 and 30 per 100,000 people from the late 1970s to 2000. This is one of the highest rates in the world.

In recent years, the rate of suicide has been on a steady rise every year, with the current rate reaching 28.2 suicides per 100,000 persons. 

5. Suriname

Suriname

In a 2018 report, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that there were 128 suicides in Suriname, which is 3.59 percent of all deaths. 

This puts Suriname in fifth place for suicides around the world. Relationships and personal problems like shame, fear, guilt, sadness, anger, being alone, depression, and feeling weak can all be linked to suicide. 

6. Russia

Russia

Suicide in Russia is a major national societal problem, with 21.6 suicides for every 100.000 people. National sources say that there were 18,206 suicides in Russia in 2018. This is down from 39.1 per 100,000 people in 2000 and 41.4 per 100,000 people in 1995.

Since 2002, the number of suicides has gone down every year, and it is now at its lowest point in more than 50 years; however, it remains one of the highest in the world.

Heavy drinking is a big reason for the high suicide rate. About half of all suicides are linked to heavy drinking. Even though the economy has been bad since the 1990s, Russia’s suicide rate has gone down, along with the amount of alcohol each person drinks. This suggests that alcohol is a bigger factor than the economy.

Even though the number of suicides in Russia has been going down quickly in recent years, it is still one of the highest in the world. BBC Russia says that in 2016, 44,673 people in Russia died by suicide or about 122 people per day.

7. Lithuania

Lithuania

Because of how common suicide is in Lithuania, it has become a big social problem there. Every year, about 23 people per 100,000 people in Lithuania kill themselves. In Europe, the average is about 12.

After communism fell in the 1990s, Lithuania went through big changes in its society and economy.

Studies from the past said that the effects of these big changes in society, such as a tough economy, worsening living conditions, alcoholism, and a lack of psychological and psychiatric services caused the high suicide rate.

8. South Africa

South Africa

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) says that depression is by far the most common mental health disorder among people who try to kill themselves.

Depression is especially dangerous for black South Africans because they don’t want to talk about it or even admit that it’s a mental illness that can happen to anyone.

Even if people are brave enough to ask for help, they often get it from preachers, traditional healers, or sangomas, who see depression as being caused by witchcraft and treat it with prayers or traditional muthi.

9. South Korea

South Korea

South Korea continues to have one of the highest suicide rates among developed countries. In 2021, there were more suicides in Korea than in the year before. This shows that the effects of the pandemic and lockdown are still being felt.

In the case of South Korea, the unemployment rate was the highest it had been since 1999, even though the economy picked up after the initial shocks from the pandemic.

Aside from the looming economic crisis, the high suicide rate in South Korea is often blamed on academic demands, work stress, the stigma around mental health, and the lack of social welfare for the elderly.

Measures To Help Reduce Suicide Rate

1. Create a safe environment

One important way to lower the risk of people killing themselves is to prevent suicidal individuals from getting access to and using lethal ways to hurt themselves.

Some measures that can be taken to ensure that suicidal people have limited access to hazards are:

  • Teach families of people in crisis how to store medications and guns safely.
  • Give out gun safety locks.
  • Change the way medications are packaged.
  • Put up barriers on bridges.

2. Promote healthy connections

Even if there are risk factors in a person’s life, having supportive relationships and being connected to the community can help protect them from suicide.

You can make people feel more connected by creating social programs for certain groups of people, like older adults or LGBT youth.

They can also be encouraged by doing other things that help people feel less alone such as giving them a sense of belonging and building relationships that are emotionally supportive.

3. Provide immediate and long-term intervention

A postvention plan is a set of rules that will help you or your community deal with suicide death in a kind and effective way.

Immediate actions focus on helping those who have been affected by suicide death and lowering the risk for other people who are weak.

People who have lost someone to suicide should also be given short-term and long-term help.

4. Identify and support high-risk individuals

Many people who are suicidal don’t reach out for help on their own. If you know anyone who is at risk of committing suicide, you can help them by getting them care and support.

This strategy includes things like training for gatekeepers, screening for suicide, and teaching warning signs.

5. Improve access to suicide care

A key part of preventing suicide is making sure that people who are at risk of suicide have quick and easy access to evidence-based treatments, interventions to prevent suicide, and coordinated systems of care.

Interventions to prevent suicide, such as planning for safety and getting treatments and therapies based on scientific evidence from trained providers, can lead to a lot of progress and healing.

Another important way to make sure people have access to mental health and suicide care is to remove financial, cultural, and practical barriers to care.

6. Teach suicidal individuals to identify and seek help when stressed

People are less likely to commit suicide if you teach them to recognize when they need help and help them find it.

Self-help tools and outreach campaigns are two ways to make it easier for people to get help, especially if they don’t know what services are available or think that help won’t work.

Other interventions could change the social and physical environment by, for example, promoting peer norms that encourage people to ask for help or making services more accessible and culturally appropriate.

Final words

People of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, and socioeconomic groups die by suicide all over the world.

Other things about a person, like having a mental illness, being born with a defect, or being a member of a sideline group, might make them more likely to get depressed, whether it’s just once or for a long time.

To reduce the number of suicide-related deaths, countries must deal with a number of widespread problems that make it more likely that someone will choose suicide as an escape.


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