Suicide an Increasingly Global Epidemic

By Sanniah Hassan

According to the statistics provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of one death every forty seconds.

People die every day but, lately the rate of young people dying or choosing to commit suicide has increased alarmingly. Although such incidents are discussed on social media websites, reported through news channels, newspapers as well by certain Non-Governmental Organizations, there are no concrete records to discuss the statistics of a situation which is gradually taking the form of a scourge in the modern day global village. Recently, as I was scrolling through my messages I read the news of a young girl who had committed suicide. Putting aside the issue of it being a painful and heartbreaking death, also putting aside the religious constraints, we must focus on the ‘what ifs’. What must her parents have gone through? What must have been going on in the girl’s mind that made her finally take her life?

What is it that ultimately pushes a person to take his/her life?  

Even though, through social media and the culture of Smartphone’s, we are connecting universally with gaps that being bridged among different nation’s cultures, religions and places, they are in fact forcing us apart. Manipulating us into believing the illusions to be true, these illusions include: connectivity, that we are connected; that everyone is your friend, when you cannot be sure of the other person since it is like talking to a vegetable or any other immobile object because you cannot judge the actions or emotions of a person on the basis emojis and smiley faces, rather on the basis of body language.

Although connections are stronger and more prominent with everyone engaging through Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram et cetera, however, communication is getting extensively difficult with each day that passes. This has caused an insurmountable leap in the number of people who suffer from some form of disability or the other, such as depression, which is one of the most deadly. One cannot be sure as to how many people around him/her are suffering from depression. Then there is the issue of TV series such as 13 Reasons Why, which is the story of a teenage girl who has committed suicide and left behind 13 tapes as reasons for doing so.

According to the statistics provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of one death every forty seconds. Unfortunately, it is estimated that by 2020, this rate will increase to one death in every 20 seconds. Coming back to the girl, who chose to end her life, who must be hardly seventeen or eighteen, who had her whole life in front of her, she had so much to learn, so much to experience and yet nothing mattered because she did not want any of it. With a rise in the suicide statistics we need more counseling, many more rehabilitation centers that can work on helping people who suffer from bouts of depression.


Even more so, we must learn to put aside our cell phones long enough to form genuine relations who we can help when needed. To whom we can provide a shoulder to cry on, ears that listen, mind that guides, mouth that comforts by saying what is needed to be said without the words being cruel, and so on. We need friends and family who recognize even the smallest change in us so they can stop us from treading a path that can harm us instead of being engrossed in some game, or video, a message and so on. Above all, if we want to change the world we must be charitable towards our own family and group of friends for as they say, “charity begins at home”. South Korean series such as The Bride of Habaek, have beautifully voiced the idea of the importance of saving even one human life. As Habaek, who is supposed to be the god of gods, states that one can only be a great king of the gods if one has the power to save a human’s life, to show them what their worth is, how they are loved and needed and just maybe then, one can become great. In the case of the girl who committed suicide, maybe if someone would have reached out to her, she would have chosen otherwise, chosen to survive, chosen to love not just her friends and family but herself.