The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) has released two podcasts exploring suicide prevention and the decriminalisation of suicide.
The 'Reach In, Reach Out' podcast series invites experts in suicide prevention to encourage understanding of the complexities of suicide, reduce stigma and spark meaningful conversations.
In the episodes, Professor Rory O'Connor and guests Dr Nii-Boye Emmanuel Quarshie and Muhammad Ali Hasnain, Co-chair of the Global Mental Health Action Network (GMHAN) UHC and Suicide Decriminalisation Working Groups, discuss the decriminalisation of suicide and insights into suicide prevention internationally.
The IASP supports the decriminalisation of suicide, with its policy position (adopted May 2020) being,
'The IASP considers that the criminalisation of attempted suicide impedes the prevention of suicidal behaviour. The IASP encourages countries where suicide attempts are currently illegal or punishable to develop and implement legislation that decriminalises suicide attempts.'
Suicide remains illegal in at least 20 countries, and attempted suicide is punishable under Sharia law in an additional 20 countries.
The IASP supports the decriminalisation of suicide and suicidal behaviour so that people who attempt suicide are not punished, and are offered help. Decriminalisation will also help to reduce the stigma for families bereaved by suicide.
The podcast discussed the benefits of decriminalisation as a pathway to reduce stigma and increase help-seeking behaviours. The researchers believe decriminalisation might result in a greater willingness to report suicidal behaviour.
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