2015•03•06 Kuala Lumpur
On 23 February 2015 UNU-IIGH and the World Bank Tokyo Development Learning Center co-organized a virtual knowledge sharing session titled “Suicide Prevention: Country Experience from Malaysia”. Around forty participants connected from Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report, Preventing suicide: A global imperative, the suicide rate of Malaysia is 3 per 100,000 people and the second lowest suicide rate in the ASEAN+3 countries. For comparison, the global average suicide rate is 11.4 per 100,000 people. WHO’s goal by 2020 is to reduce suicide rates by 10%. Remarkably, Malaysia achieved a 23.9% decrease between 2000 and 2012 while.
According to the 2012 National School-based Student Health Survey, the prevalence of suicidal ideation of students was 7.9%. Even if rates seem low by comparison, suicide prevention is still a priority issue. This is because, the Malaysian government recognizes that suicide is not only one of the significant health challenges but also a social and development challenge. This would be similar in many other countries.
Dr. Atsuro Tsutsumi at UNU-IIGH facilitated the session with two distinguished guests — Dr. Nurashikin Ibrahim from the Malaysian Ministry of Health and Dr. Andrew Mohanraj from Perdana University. They shared their expertise on suicide prevention from a policy and clinical challenges perspective followed by an active questions and answer session.
This virtual sharing session was a great opportunity to compare experiences, good practices and current challenges in Malaysia and its adaptation to other countries.