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In the year 2000 an estimated 815 000 people died from suicide around the world. This represents an annual global mortality rate of about 14.5 per 100 000 population – or one death about every 40 seconds. Suicide is the thirteenth leading cause of death worldwide (see Statistical annex). Among those aged 15–44 years, self-inflicted injuries are the fourth leading cause of death and the sixth leading cause of ill-health and disability (1). Deaths from suicide are only a part of this very serious problem. In addition to those who die, many more people survive attempts to take their own lives or harm themselves, often seriously enough to require medical attention (2). Furthermore, every person who kills himself or herself leaves behind many others – family and friends – whose lives are profoundly affected emotionally, socially and economically. The economic costs associated with self-inflicted death or injuries are estimated to be in the billions of US dollars a year (3).
World Report on Violence and Health