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Efforts to decriminalise suicide are profitable floor

4 international locations have decriminalised suicide within the final yr, a measure that campaigners say improves each psychological well being consciousness and entry to assist in instances of acute disaster.

The information coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday. 

Though suicide has been decriminalised for the reason that Sixties in England, Wales and Northern Eire – and has by no means been unlawful in Scotland – some 17 international locations stick with legal guidelines labelling it as a prison offence. 

Marketing campaign group United for International Psychological Well being studies that criminalisation “deters individuals from looking for assist, additional stigmatises psychological unwell well being, and hampers efforts to stop, diagnose, and deal with psychological well being situations”.

There’s nonetheless a approach to go, however issues are altering for the higher. 

Guyana, Ghana and Pakistan have decriminalised suicide since November final yr and Malaysia handed related legal guidelines this June. It signifies that as an alternative of a police custody suite and a attainable jail sentence, suicide survivors get assist once they want it probably the most.

“This latest spell of nations pushing ahead on laws that decriminalises suicide and suicidal behaviour has been massively encouraging and we’re hopeful that this momentum continues,” mentioned Katherine Thomson, who heads up decriminalisation advocacy work on the Worldwide Affiliation for Suicide Prevention.

Picture: George Pagan III

Fundamental picture: SolStock/iStock