Suicide is the act of deliberately killing oneself. Risk factors for suicide include mental disorder, especially depression, and neurological disorders, cancer and HIV infection. Every year, almost one million people die from suicide, 86% of whom are in low/middle-income countries. Suicide is among the three leading causes of death for young people under 25 and accounts for 10%−20% of deaths in women up to one year after giving birth. The median suicide rate for the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region is 4.90 per 100 000 people, compared with 6.55 for all countries of the world.

It is one of the priority conditions identified as part of the WHO mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) and the regional strategy recommends development of a recording and reporting system, development of services for early recognition and management of mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders in primary care, special programmes for vulnerable populations such as adolescents, older people and women and reducing access to the means of committing suicide.