The Country With the Highest Suicide Rate in the World

It is a painful and undeniable reality that suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Around one in 100 deaths is caused by suicide. Suicide is rarely caused by a single event or circumstance. Instead, a range of individual, relationship, community, and societal factors can increase the risk of suicide attempts. What are the factors that contribute to suicide risk? On a personal level, a history of depression or other mental illness, serious illness such as chronic pain or a terminal condition, criminal and legal problems, financial struggles and job loss, impulsive tendencies, substance use, current or prior history of painful childhood experiences, hopelessness, and violence victimization are all suicide risk factors. Relationship factors include bullying, history of suicide among family or loved ones, loss of relationships, violent or high conflict relationships, and social isolation. Community and societal risk factors such as suicide clusters, community violence, historical trauma, discrimination, lack of access to healthcare, stress from acculturation, stigma associated with seeking help, access to means of suicide, and unsafe portrayals in media of suicide. This infographic visualizes suicide rates around the world – the first step towards change is awareness. Which country has the highest suicide rate? Lesotho, a high-altitude, landlocked country in Africa, suffers from the highest suicide rate in the world at 87.5 suicide-related deaths per 100,000 people every year. Why is suicide so common in Lesotho? A major factor is the AIDS epidemic that has plagued the country for decades – around 23.2% of adults in Lesotho are affected. In fact, HIV/AIDS was declared a national disaster in Lesotho in 2000 by King Letsie III. Few employment opportunities and rampant gender-based violence also play a huge role in Lesotho’s suicide rates. At least 86% of women experience violence and 1 in 3 experience violence during childhood.

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