Surveillance of Suicide Attempts and Self-Harm Across the World

    In 2013, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse initiated the IASP-WHO global survey on suicide prevention to ascertain what information exists on national suicide prevention strategies, including surveillance of suicide and suicide attempts. Ninety of the 157 countries which received the survey questionnaire responded – a 57% response rate. Only 18% (16 out of 89 countries) confirmed the presence a registry for suicide attempts, with countries in the WHO Region of the Americas and the European Region being overrepresented.

    For the purpose of this e-learning program, a preliminary review was conducted to examine surveillance systems or projects worldwide. The review does not purport to be exhaustive (many efforts remain unpublished), but rather aims to provide an overview of surveillance systems or projects worldwide.

    In recent years, surveillance of suicide attempts and self-harm has been increasingly prioritized at national and international levels and uses different methods: dedicated registries, multicenter projects, national/international statistics and databases, and individual studies.