Means Restriction for Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a global public health and social problem. In 2000, approximately one million people in the world died by suicide. Suicide rates have been increasing among young people in some countries. It is one of the three leading causes of death in the world among those aged up to 19 years. Means/methods used for suicide include hanging/strangulation/suffocation, poisoning, using firearms, jumping from high places (bridge, high building, etc.), and others. In countries such as Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, and Sweden, hanging is the most commonly used method for suicide in the general population, particularly among males. In contrast, firearms are used most commonly in the United States, accounting for more than half of the suicide deaths in the general population.In Canada, intentional self poisoning, including intentional overdose, is the most common method used by females and the second most common method used by males for suicide. The majority of intentional overdose-related deaths were caused by unspecified drugs, medications, and biological substances, which underscores the difficulty in current data collection systems.Various strategies to reduce access to lethal means in order to prevent suicide deaths of an impulsive nature, particularly among young people, have been developed and implemented in several countries. Means restriction is considered a key component in a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy and has been shown to be effective in reducing suicide rates.