World Mental Health Day shines spotlight on high youth suicide rates
Suicide kills more people than war and murder combined, and is the leading cause of death amongst young people aged between 15 and 19, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared on World Mental Health Day.
In a message released on the Day, which fell on Thursday, UN chief António Guterres called for stronger investment in services, adding that “there is no health, without mental health”.
WHO says there is a well-established link between mental health and suicide in developed countries, and the trauma from experiencing disaster, violence and abuse, also increases the risk.
This year, the agency and global partners are promoting the “40 seconds of action campaign” – referencing to the frequency of suicides worldwide – with the aim of raising awareness of suicide, and methods of prevention.
UN winning the fight against Ebola in DR Congo
Meanwhile, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), WHO has announced that it is winning the fight against the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in the east of the country.
Updating journalists in Geneva on Thursday, Dr. Michael Ryan, who is leading the campaign against the outbreak, said that, whilst Ebola has not yet been eradicated, it has been largely driven away from towns, and into rural areas.
WHO is now registering some 20 confirmed weekly infections, down from around 130 daily cases during the peak period in April.
In the 14 months since the latest outbreak was declared in DRC – where the virus is endemic – more than 2,100 people have died, including over 160 health workers.
New UN data centre will improve refugee assistance: UN chief
A new UN refugee data centre will improve the way agencies support “some of the most dramatically vulnerable people in the world”, UN chief António Guterres said on Thursday.
Speaking in Copenhagen, at the launch of the centre, Mr. Guterres, said that many decisions are based on wrong information, because the data needed to clarify problems does not exist.
However, establishing centres of excellence throughout the UN system, which are effectively collecting and using data, can rectify the problem, and help policy-makers find solutions to humanitarian crises.
The Joint Data Centre is a collaboration between the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the World Bank, and will contribute to improved policy and practice in addressing protracted refugee situations.