Kathmandu, Sept. 10: Efforts from individual, community and national levels can help reduce suicide cases, said stakeholders at a programme organised by the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division under the Department of Health in the capital on Monday. Nepal ranks seventh in terms of the total number of suicide cases in the world, and the third in case of women committing suicide. The major reason behind growing suicide cases in Nepal is mental tension resulting from unemployment, drug abuse, alcoholism, domestic problems, domestic and sexual violence and genetic conditions, among others. Speaking on the occasion Bhim Singh Tinkari, acting director at the Department of Health under the Ministry of Health and Population, said that suicide is preventable. “Advocacy and awareness programme can play an important role to discourage people to commit suicide,” he said. According to Chief of Non- Communicable Disease and Mental Health Section Dr Phanindra Prasad Baral, suicide is a complex public health problem. He said every sector must be concerned for its prevention. Suicides are preventable with timely intervention, said Dr Baral, adding that a comprehensive multi-sectoral suicide prevention strategy was immediately needed. Matrika Devkota, executive director at Koshish, National Mental Health Self-Help Organisation, said that in order to prevent people from committing suicide, it requires coordination among multiple sectors such as health, education, labour, agriculture, business, justice, law, defense, politics, and media. According to Nepal Police data, 5,754 persons committed suicide across the nation in the fiscal year 2018/19, of which 70 per cent were aged between 15 and 50 years. According to the data, it can be estimated that around 16 people commit suicide every day in Nepal. According to the World Health Organisation, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 years old. The first cause of deaths is road accident. There are indications that for each adult who die by committing suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting to commit suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for committing suicide in the general population. Participants at the programme said that the media could play an important role in providing education and awareness among the public and may encourage those at risk of committing suicide to seek help. Suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that impact on families, colleagues, friends, communities, societies and nation as a whole. Studies showed that sharing problems and suicidal thoughts and seeking professional counseling when required can help prevent one from committing suicide. ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’ is the theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day which is being observed on Tuesday.