The mental health of our society

mental disorders

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Sanem ERGEN, a second year medical student at Istanbul University. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The World Health Organisation reported that approximately 800.000 people lose their lives due to suicide every year. This fact means that in every 40 seconds one person dies because of suicide. The WHO estimates that the number of deaths due to suicide will be more than 1.000.000 in 2030. Moreover, when the suffering of the families, relatives, friends and colleagues of persons who die from suicide is considered, it is undeniable that suicide and mental health is a huge public health issue.

Suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years in the year 2016. It is estimated that around 20% of global suicides are due to pesticide self-poisoning. Other common methods of suicide are hanging and firearms.

WHO considers suicide as a public health priority. The first WHO World Suicide Report “Preventing suicide: a global imperative”, published in 2014. It aims to encourage and support countries to develop or strengthen comprehensive suicide prevention strategies in a multi-sectoral public health approach. In the WHO Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020, WHO Member States have committed themselves to working towards the global target of reducing the suicide rate in countries by 10% by 2020.

Mental disorders have become widespread in recent years. Indeed, it is mostly associated with the high stress level of modern lives including problems about jobs, financial problems, relationship problems etc.  In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, or loss and a sense of isolation are strongly associated with suicidal behaviour. Suicide rates are also high amongst vulnerable groups who experience discrimination, such as refugees and migrants; indigenous peoples; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) persons; and prisoners. By far the strongest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt.

Mental health is a prior issue and mental disorders such as suicidal behaviours are preventable. Reducing access to the means of suicide can be a way to do that. Also, reporting by media in a responsible way, school based interventions, early identification, treatment and care of people with mental and substance use disorders, giving people who have mental disorder a proper job and making them feel useful for the society, follow-up care for people who attempted suicide are examples of prevention methods.

The most important thing is to start a mental improvement in society. There must be routine controls for every person just like routine vaccinations or tests. It would not be difficult to make people come visit a mental counsellor at least one time in a year. The people who have mental disorders or had before, must be under observation even if the treatment is over or the patient feels well.

In conclusion, mental health is a significant public health issue and suicides affect the society in many ways. Therefore, we need to prevent the mental disorders and suicide attempts to save the lives of people who suffer from mental illnesses and the lives of the families, relatives, friends of these people. We must accomplish this aim to have a mentally healthy society.


The British Journal of Psychiatry Volume 183Issue 5 November 2003 , pp. 382-383

Suicide within 12 months of contact with mental health services: national clinical survey

About the author

Sanem ERGEN was born on 09.03.1999 and has graduated from Kabatas High School. At present, she studies at Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine and is a first grade student. She lives in Istanbul, Turkey. In the year 2015, she has visited USA and stayed in Texas for nearly two months. She had a chance to addend a clerkship in a research laboratory. She also visited Math teacher's classes. Therefore, she improved her language and observed a researching study. She also writes poems and short stories, is experienced in English and Turkish debates and knows sign language and German.



the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Guinea-Bissau: Upcoming elections vital to prevent ‘relapse’ into instability, says UN envoy

This underwater restaurant teaches you about the ocean while you eat

Protecting refugees in Europe: UNHCR calls for a ‘year of change’

Crowdfunding: what it is and what it may become

We have to fight for a fairer tech industry for women

Commission presents EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements for signature and conclusion

UN mosquito sterilization technology set for global testing, in battle against malaria, dengue

Why Italy will not follow the Greek road; Eurozone to change or unravel

5 ways Coca-Cola is cleaning up its plastic footprint in Africa

‘Reasons to hope’ for sustainable peace in Central African Republic – UN Mission chief

‘Digital divide’ will worsen inequalities, without better global cooperation

World Editors Forum President: Credible media vital in the fight against COVID-19 and fake news epidemic

Australian homes are turning to solar power in record numbers

Greece: The new government of Alexis Tsipras shows its colors

Migration: Commission steps up emergency assistance to Spain and Greece

Myanmar and UN agriculture agency agree framework to improve nutrition and food security

Pumping more money into banks but leaving them unregulated doesn’t help

Venezuela: ‘Shocked’ by alleged torture, death of navy captain, UN human rights chief urges ‘in-depth’ investigation

A Sting Exclusive: “Regulators and the shipping industry collaborating for a sustainable future”, written by the Secretary General of IMO

Healing of ozone layer gives hope for climate action: UN report

The challenges of the universalization of the health system in Brazil. What can we change?

Carnage must stop in northwest Syria demands Lowcock, as attacks intensify

The art of care goes beyond borders: one has to understand the individual as a whole

Spanish vote – bad luck for Greece: Does Iphigenia need to be sacrificed for favourable winds to blow in Eurozone?

‘Crippling to our credibility’ that number of women peacekeepers is so low: UN chief

Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash. Here’s why

Hostages to a rampant banking system

Costa Rica is one of the world’s happiest countries. Here’s what it does differently

US migrant children policy reversal, still ‘fails’ thousands of detained youngsters: UN rights experts

Radioactive material ‘a magnet for groups with malicious intent’, warns UN nuclear watchdog chief

Parliament adopts new rules for short-stay visas

Eurozone: There is a remedy for regional convergence

Economic sentiment and business climate stagnate in miserable euro area

British PM May’s Brexit proposal remains obscure while her government unravels

Sri Lanka PM: This is how I will make my country rich by 2025

Will GDPR block Blockchain?

Siemens-Alstom merger: Can Germany and France lobby to circumvent EC’s rejection, against EU consumers’ interests?

“None of our member states has the dimension to compete with China and the US, not even Germany!”, Head of EUREKA Pedro Nunes on another Sting Exclusive

Sudan: Amidst deaths, injuries, imprisonments, UNICEF stresses children’s protection ‘at all times’

Microsoft’s YouthSpark: a kiss of Life to European Youth from the European Parliament

Factories are no longer the sure route to prosperity. Here’s why

COVID-19: Single market must emerge stronger from the crisis, say MEPs

Yemen consultations have started, insists top UN negotiator

Who is to profit from the quasi announced ECB rate cut?

What can the private sector do to alleviate the refugee crisis?

Can privatisation be the panacea for the lack of growth in Europe?

GSMA Mobile 360 Series –Digital Societies, in association with The European Sting

This is where people work the longest – and shortest – hours

EU/African, Caribbean and Pacific partnership: MEPs list key aims for renewal

Costa Coffee products (Copyright: Costa Coffee; Source: Costa Coffee website, Press area)

The start of the “Caffeine rush”: Coca-Cola acquires Costa Coffee days after Nestlé-Starbucks deal

Out with the old: Young People transforming Humanitarian Action

Mali not fulfilling its ‘sovereign role’ in protecting its people: UN human rights expert

Why AI will make healthcare personal

Draghi’s 2018 compromise: enough money printing to revive inflation and check euro ascent

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ericsson/Cisco partnership on track, insist execs

This credit card has a carbon-emission spending limit

6 of the world’s 10 most polluted cities are in India

UN chief condemns deadly terrorist attack on church in southern Philippines

Buzzkill: why the hype around drones and COVID-19 is misplaced

Mergers: Commission approves Assa Abloy’s acquisition of Agta Record, subject to conditions

More Stings?



  1. Very inspiring article about mental health.

  2. Very useful your website article “The mental health of our society” and great your website. thanks for sharing.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s