AMMONNEWS - Jordan in 2016 witnessed its highest recorded number of suicides, with 117 people taking their own lives by shooting, hanging, drinking poison, overdosing and jumping off heights, including 91 men and 26 women, a Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI) statement said Monday.
Marking 2017 World Health Day, whose theme is “depression”, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said more than 300 million people around the world are coping with depression, noting that numbers increased by 18 per cent between 2005 and 2015, according to the SIGI statement.
Depression is defined as a mood disorder which can cause extreme sadness, severely limiting a sufferer’s ability to function, the statement quoted the WHO as saying, adding that depression could affect anyone, especially those living in humanitarian crises-hit regions of the Middle East.
Among those who live or have experienced situations of armed conflict or lack of security, one out of five people suffers from depression and anxiety, the SIGI statement said.
The WHO website notes that barriers to effective care for people suffering from depression include a lack of resources, shortage of trained healthcare providers, as well as social stigma associated with mental illnesses.
The institute also said that, just like physical first-aid services, mental health first-aid services are also very important, and should be part of long-term efforts to ensure that individuals receive the necessary treatment following traumatic experiences such as natural disasters, wars and all types of violence.
The WHO notes it is a common mistake to respond to emergencies and traumas only with physical first-aid, without providing psychosocial support as well.
The statement indicated that women are more prone than men to depression, but that it is treatable, adding that women and children especially suffer from the consequences of violence, notably during armed conflicts, as women are more likely to become widows and children orphans, the SIGI statement said.
In situations of armed conflict, the rights of women and children are often violated through torture, sexual violence, or forced participation in conflicts, with many driven out of their nations, becoming refugees or forced to live in inhumane conditions, the statement added.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young men and women aged between 15 and 29. Rates of suicide around the world continue to rise, with an estimated 800,000 suicides annually and 16 million attempted suicides, according to WHO statistics.
In Jordan, 39 suicides were recorded in 2011, 86 in 2012, and 108 in 2013. The number of suicides dropped to 100 in 2014, before rising again to 113 in 2015, according to a 2016 report by SIGI which cited a Criminal Investigations Department annual statistics report.