Daniel Halliday
Jun 11, 2018 · Last update 5 mo. ago.
What can governments do about increasing suicide rates?
Global suicide rates are increasing and suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. What should governments be doing differently in the worst affected countries?
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It’s not the governments place or problem, it is a social problem and requires social change
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The factors effecting this issue are wide spread, even a change of language is called for
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The problem is deep rooted and requires more than government policy or guidelines
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Smarter funding to public mental health care programs
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It’s not the governments place or problem, it is a social problem and requires social change

The worst affected countries are those in which a break down in community can be demonstrated. This arguably leads to people feeling isolated and may feed into other socio-economic factors such as unemployment. This can also feed negative emotion into, and reinforce, other negative issues and problems in an individuals life, such as low self-esteem, lack of social relationships, lack of direction or any other major grief event.

There needs to be some form of societal change in this area and more grass roots programs to nurture inclusive local communities. Attitudes in urban areas need to change from a feeling of hardhearted uncaring to a place of wide reaching, engaged and sympathetic community. With some fairly rich nations having high suicide rates it’s obvious that factors are more social than economic.

To claim government intervention, or government spending, could solve such a social issue is naive. While economic factors such as poverty are well in the control of government, social change needs to come from the society itself. Government spending for this may be ineffective and thus make the economic contributing factors worse. The change needs to come from communities to be a genuine move towards change, attitudes towards mental health problems and addressing emotions cannot be purchased out of society.

businessinsider.com/world-suicide-rate-map-2014-4

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 5
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DH edited this paragraph
To claim government intervention, or government spending, could solve such a social issue is naive. While economic factors such as poverty are well in the control of government, social change needs to come from the society itself. Government spending for this may be ineffective and thus make the economic contributing factors worse. The change needs to come from communities to be a genuine move towards change, attitudes towards mental health problems and addressing emotions cannot be purchased out of society.
The factors effecting this issue are wide spread, even a change of language is called for

When dealing with highly nuanced issues, stigmatising common phrases surrounding the issue can often get in the way of dealing with it, the language we use around suicide is one good example. Using the phrase “committing suicide” makes the act sound like a crime or a sin, when it really needs to be taken seriously with a modern scientific mindset if it is to be tackled. Many subtle societal changes need to take place to tackle this deep rooted issue and a change in language is just one of them.

The factors affecting suicide are so varied and so personal it is hard to address an issue such as this with one scheme or policy, but the social change that could be created through attempting to soften and how suicide is address in society could actually affect change. How many societies deals with physical health is a good thing to aim for, we have a sufficient vocabulary that allows people to discuss and deal with physical ailments with ease. This may come down to personal choice to change the way we think about mental illness and suicide, but to solve this issue the subject needs to be raised in an educational setting both in schools and by the mainstream media.

nami.org/blogs/nami-blog/april-2015/changing-the-way-society-understands-mental-health huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/world-suicide-prevention-day-why-you-need-to-stop-saying-committed-suicide_uk_5b962af5e4b0511db3e3fd23

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 5
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DH edited this paragraph
https://www.nami.org/blogs/nami-blog/april-2015/changing-the-way-society-understands-mental-health https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/world-suicide-prevention-day-why-you-need-to-stop-saying-committed-suicide_uk_5b962af5e4b0511db3e3fd23
The problem is deep rooted and requires more than government policy or guidelines

Modern society is an unnatural, high-intensity environment that offers little rest or escape. A heightened suicide rate is a natural indicator that populations are living in unnatural environments. The problem cannot be addressed until this issue is. The solution should be a massive rethink of how modern societies should live at a fundamental level.

Arguably the main changes that should occur in the lives' of urban populations are shorter working hours, more physical recreation time, greater access to natural landscapes and open water (all of these have been proven to have positive effect on peoples mental health). Governments desperately need to implement policies and guidelines to promote such changes. The role of nature, lifestyle and human health need to be taken into account while redeveloping the modern living environment, a complete redesign of the urban landscape and what people do in it is probably necessary to fully address this issue.

However, the foundation cause of this problem is undoubtedly the suicidal individual’s brain chemistry, as some people manage to overcome certain situations in life and some do not, no matter the level of support or therapy they receive. Greater understanding of the biochemical mechanisms behind depression are needed, in order to address this problem from its root cause. So far, research has show that depression has a strong genetic link, and furthermore there is a distinguished rate of serotonin metabolism in individuals suffering from depression.

Major funding into human bio-chemistry and psychology would help us to fully comprehend the complexity of the mental health issues surround things like suicide and depression. Humans have evolved for so long and our biochemistry and DNA is nearly identical to how we have evolved in the natural world. The proliferation of modern diseases both physiological and mental can be explained in the most part by our environment having changed from a place of living integrated with nature to a modern existence largely removed from the natural world, in a relatively short space of time. Better understanding of the problem is needed to offer better technological, or indeed non-technological solutions accordingly.

nhs.uk/news/genetics-and-stem-cells/genetic-link-for-depression-found bionews.org.uk/page_95957 sustainableearth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42055-018-0002-5

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 5
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
Arguably the main changes that should occur in the lives' of urban populations are shorter working hours, more physical recreation time, greater access to natural landscapes and open water (all of these have been proven to have positive effect on peoples mental health). Governments desperately need to implement policies and guidelines to promote such changes. The role of nature, lifestyle and human health need to be taken into account while redeveloping the modern living environment, a complete redesign of the urban landscape and what people do in it is probably necessary to fully address this issue.
Smarter funding to public mental health care programs

This problem is heartbreaking amalgam of difficulties around mental health, pressure and drugs in certain societies. These societies should be a healthy place for people physically and mentally, but the recent string of high profile celebrity suicides has shed fresh light on a problem. Depression is a physical biology trait that is on the rise. The pull it together attitude is something that is pervasive throughout societies but is completely useless response to something that is neurological condition.

The world health organisation has been trying to raise awareness of suicide prevention strategies, advising on various approaches to be taken. Removing access to means, treatment of depression, drugs and alcohol abuse, are all things that can be managed by governments. But the WHO also advocates the importance of social care systems that can implement crisis management, self-esteem enhancement and developing coping and resolution strategies. This is some government infrastrucure that is often overlooked or underfunded in many countries.

Governments in affected countries need to encourage counselling services over drug prescriptions. Greater overall access to affordable counselling for situations where drugs are not often an answer (such as marriage counselling or couples therapy). Rehabilitation programs over medication courses. befrienders.org/suicide-statistics

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