There is a tendency to increase the number of suicides in the world and rejuvenate the age of suicide. One person commits suicide every 40 seconds, around 13 times that number every year. 12 out of 13 suicide attempts don’t end with success, while one results in death. Majority of suicide attempters are young people aged 13-34. Unfortunately, 1 million people commit suicide every year, it is forecasted that this number will increase by 1,5 times in 2020.
What is the situation in this field in Azerbaijan?
The calamity of the countries with a high standard of living
Comparison with world countries gives us a more realistic assessment of the situation in this field in Azerbaijan. If we look through the statistics of 2018 provided by the World Health Organization, we’ll see that the number of suicide cases is high in the European countries. For example, in Belgium the number of suicide cases in 100 thousand people is 20,7, meanwhile in Hungary 19,1, Slovenia 18,6, Estonia 17,8, France 17,7 Switzerland 17,2, Croatia 16,5, Poland 16,2, Finland 15,9, Austria 15,6, Sweden 14,8 Germany 13,6 Denmark 12,8, Netherlands 12,6 Norway 12,2, Spain 8,7, Italy 8,2, Albania 6,3 facts are recorded. This indicator is 7,3 facts per 100 thousand people in fraternal Turkey.
Among CIS countries the number of suicide cases in 100 thousand people is for Russia 31, Belarus 26,2, Kazakhstan 22,5, Kyrgyzstan 8,3, Uzbekistan 7,4, Turkmenistan 6,7, Moldova 4,7, Tajikistan 2,5 cases. In analogical comparison, Ukraine has 22,43, Georgia 8,2 cases.
If talking about Azerbaijan, in 2014-2018 and 7 months of the current year 2831 suicide cases are recorded. In 2014 - 490, 2015 - 499, 2016 - 507, 2017 - 498, 2018 - 521, cases are registered, while 316 cases reported in 7 months of 2019. 66,4 % (1879) of 2831 people who committed suicide are male, 27,7% (785) are female, 5,9% (167) are underage children in 2014-2018 and 7 months of 2019. Generally, the number of suicides per 100 thousand people amounted averagely to 5 cases in the last 5 years.
Reasons for suicides in the world and Azerbaijan
Statistics show that Azerbaijan also couldn’t stay away from increasing suicide trends committed worldwide. There has been a small increase in suicide cases in the period after 2014. However, in general, Azerbaijan holds the last places in both among world and CIS countries regarding suicide cases per 100 thousand people.
As for reasons of suicides in the world and Azerbaijan, the statistical scene reveals that social problems are the main causes. It is obviously seen in the statistics of the World Health Organization in 2018 that suicides are widely experienced in European countries. Additionally, the level of life condition in the countries, standing in the leading ranks of the European countries list, is higher. In comparison with these countries, in Albania with low-level life condition and many social problems, suicide cases are very few. It is also interesting that Tajikistan is in the last place among CIS countries in this issue. This fact shows social problems are not the main reason for suicide cases.
Researches prove the people, who have an incurable disease, as well as who is mentally disabled, or who failed in university examination do not commit suicide. There are also some cases such as forced marriage, family conflicts, hard financial condition, and dependence on the internet among reasons of the cases. Just 10% of the registered suicide cases were related to the financial situation.
The reality coming from statistic situation shows that claims of some non-governmental organizations and media about the hard social condition in Azerbaijan and people’s suicide due to the condition are groundless. Economic and social indicators of the last 6 months approve improvement of social welfare of the population once more. As a result of economic development, social revolutions have been conducted in social field and pensions, social benefits, and salaries of people, working in the institutions financed by state budget have bee increased by 50% and much more.
The whole world thinks on prevention measure of suicide cases. One of the main measures is enlightenment. In this issue, primarily, civil society institutions, as well as every individual have responsibilities. There are support lines of non-governmental organizations for depressed people in countries with a high level of suicide. Certainly, there is no need for such measures in Azerbaijan according to statistical figures.
What should Mass Media do?
There are restrictions in lightening suicide cases by media in Western European countries. For example, it is banned to reveal pictures of the suicide committer and suicide form in England. Dissemination of these images in mass media can be a stimulus. At the same time, it is unacceptable to stimulate and warrant suicide and heroize suicide committer.
Unfortunately, there is information in some media institutions of Azerbaijan due to suicides or encouraging the perpetrators. But dissemination of suicide news and the discussion of the problem which leads to suicide is normal.
For instance, recently the information has been disseminated about suicide of 17-year-old girl from Zagatala who was forced by her family to marry the person she did not love. Instead of paying attention to put pressure on familiy individual, ignoring her wishes, and taking actions against this by media and public figures, some media institutions were busy to spread her videos that were recorded before her death. Instead of promotion methods of struggle who are in the same age and faces the same problem, to choose such dramatic videos is wrong and has the essence of promotion.
The activity of NGOs in this field should show itself in the form of a consistent and continuous organization of educational activities in order to eliminate the causes of suicide. The Council on State Support to NGOs under the Auspices of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani Youth Foundation should act as a governing body in this area, and these areas should be given a priority in grant competitions.
Nowadays, each individual also has an important role in the background of social networks that create great opportunities as self-expressing place. While using from the opportunities of social networks it should be encouraged inadmissibility of suicides instead of its promotion. Our religion also condemns suicide. On the other hand, the misinterpretation of the causes of suicide to society, and its attempt to be used as a means to achieve political goals is against political and moral values.