Policymaking > Government
Daniel Halliday
Jun 11 · Last update 2 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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1 disagrees
Smarter funding to public mental health care programs
2 agrees
0 disagrees
The problem is deep rooted and requires more than government policy or guidelines
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0 disagrees
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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.

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 factor worse.

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 4
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DH edited this paragraph
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.
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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The problem is deep rooted and requires more than government policy or guidelines

Modern society is an unnatural high intensity environment with little rest or escape. A heightened suicide rate is a natural indicator of populations 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 urban populations lives are a greater access to green spaces, 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 should implement policies and guidelines to promote changes. But major funding into human bio-chemistry and psychology would also help us to fully understand the mental health issues surround things like suicide and depression, and may offer better technological, or indeed non-technological solutions accordingly.

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