Humanitarian-relief workers and social specialists sounded the alarm in Idleb and northwestern Syria after repeated cases of suicide over the past two years. These cases coincided with a further decline in economic conditions. These exacerbated the suffering of millions of Syrians in the region, as the regime’s military operations continue alongside the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the figures do not indicate that suicide has become a widespread phenomenon in the communities of Idleb and Aleppo’s countryside, in northwestern Syria, they warn of risks that need to be dealt with and confronted with awareness campaigns and psychological services for those in need.
Statistics prompting action
The Syria Response Coordinators team documented 11 suicide cases in northwestern Syria between January and July 2021.
According to figures from Save the Children International, more than 246 suicide cases occurred in northwestern Syria in the last three months of 2020, along with 1,748 suicide attempts in the same period. They pointed out that one in five suicide attempts and deaths are performed by children.
But it is difficult to document all suicide cases in the region because they are concealed by the family members to avoid societal taboo, there are expectations that the real numbers are higher than previously documented. This prompted some humanitarian organizations to act and launch awareness campaigns.
In this regard, the Ihsan Relief and Development organization, one of the Syrian Forum programs, launched an awareness initiative, in cooperation with the Save the Children organization, which included seminars and workshops in the city of Salqin in Idleb countryside.
The initiative, which raised the slogan “A few words make a difference. Let’s work together to reduce suicide,” sheds light on the issue of suicide and sought to provide methods for its prevention.
The initiative aims to educate society about the causes and disturbances that contribute to the spread of this issue and to urge all groups of society, especially influential public figures, to alert and raise awareness about the phenomenon of suicide and methods to combat its spread.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.