I’m Alex Villarreal with the VOA Special English Health Report. World Suicide Prevention Day was September tenth. This year’s observance was meant to bring attention to the differences among suicidal individuals and their situations around the world. But the organizers also said that all over the world, people have something in common.
They need to feel connected to others for good mental health.The organizers included the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization says that every year about one million people kill themselves. It says suicide is one of the top three causes of death among people between the ages of fifteen and forty-four. Among people age ten to twenty-four, suicide is the second leading cause of death, after road accidents.
Lanny Berman is president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. He points out that suicide rates differ from country to country, as do common ways that people kill themselves. As a result, he says, prevention efforts must fit with local needs. He says the main methods of suicide in developing countries have been pesticides, pesticide poisoning and overdose. And there have been efforts to develop prevention programs to reduce the use and availability of pesticides.
Mr. Berman says findings from agricultural areas of Sri Lanka, India and China show promise. They show that programs are helping to limit access to these poisons.There are often clear warning signs before a suicide attempt. Lanny Berman says individuals usually talk about the idea before they try it.Another warning sign, he says, is a sudden increase in the use of drugs or alcohol. Warning signs also include expressions of hopelessness or a sense of feeling trapped.
Mr. Berman says the risk of suicide can be more difficult to identify in children. They generally communicate more with other children than with adults. But the other children often do not understand the messages. As a result, he says, when children speak of suicide, other children rarely report it.For VOA Special English I’m Alex Villarreal. You can post comments on our website, voaspecialenglish.com. You can also find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs. And you can find us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
suicide – n. the act of killing yourself intentionally, or a person who has done this
observance – n. the act of obeying a law or following a religious custom
association – n. a group of people who work together in a single organization for a particular purpose
pesticide – n. a chemical substance used to kill harmful insects, small animals, wild plants, and other unwanted organisms
poisoning – n. an illness caused by eating, drinking, or breathing a dangerous substance
overdose – n. (informal OD) too much of a drug taken or given at one time, either intentionally or by accident
agricultural – adj. used for farming or relating to farming
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