Suicide and Education

June 19st 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

Statement delivered by Dr Anna Barchetti Durisch at the United Nations HRC; General Debate on Human Rights. (Watch the video)

“Mr President,

In the context of the right to development, I would like to talk about suicide.

Statistics show that every year over 1 million people worldwide commit suicide.

It is said that the main precipitating causes of suicide are mental disorder and substance abuse.

But what are the circumstances leading to these conditions, Mr President? Poverty is often blamed, while in Greenland, the region with the highest suicide rate worldwide, the absence of sunlight is said to be the cause.
In India, on the other hand, for the rampant teenagers’ suicide statistics, the blame goes on the school system … Obviously, we are missing here the real point.

From my experience as mentor and counsellor, I can say that reason for suicide is only one, we can call it fear, lack of awareness or lack of love, but it is the same.

The problem, Mr. President, is not the multitude of reasons for dying, but rather a sudden absence of reasons for living.

The right to development can only be pursued if fear is replaced by awareness. This can only be achieved through empowerment, through education for life.

I call for a creation of a HRC Working Group in charge for developing curricula and policies to foster an education for life for children, youth and adults.

I address You, Mr President, and all the representatives of the member States: please do not wait that your Country, your loved ones become victim of this negligence.
I thank You Mr President.

Dr Anna Barchetti Durisch, UN statement