Suicide Trends in At-Risk Territories (START)
The Suicide Trends in At-Risk Territories (START) study is the outcome of discussions held at the WHO-WPRO meeting held from 15 to 19 August 2005 in Manila, Philippines. This forum included the participation of government-nominated participants from 22 countries within the WHO Western Pacific Region.
Suicide was identified as a leading cause of mortality in all countries of the region. Participants to this meeting advocated addressing this problem using an integrative and collaborative approach.
This meeting identified four specific areas for action. These were as follows:
- to develop a reliable mortality registry system;
- to conduct research on the causes, risks and protective factors for suicide within the different countries and areas of the region;
- to encourage the development of national suicide prevention strategies; and
- to develop a network of researchers with knowledge and skills specific to suicidal behaviours.
The WHO/START study was officially launched in Brisbane, Australia on 2 March 2006, at the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, a WHO Collaborating Centre.
The size of the problem
Suicide in the WHO Western Pacific Region comprises nearly 38% of all suicides occurring the world (World Health Organization, 2006). This figure is predicted to increase in the coming years.