A key message of the report is suicide is preventable: the idea that once a person is suicidal they remain like that for life as a myth. The fact is, says WHO:
"Heightened suicide risk is often short-term and situation-specific. While suicidal thoughts may return, they are not permanent and an individual with previously suicidal thoughts and attempts can go on to live a long life."
Evidence from several countries suggests limiting access to the means that people use to commit suicide can stop them doing so. Some of the most common means include ingesting pesticide poisons, hanging and use of firearms.
And another important way to reduce deaths by suicide, says the WHO report, is having a national coordinated action plan, which currently only 28 countries have adopted. Effective suicide prevention requires that government departments work together and develop a comprehensive coordinated response.
"High-level commitment is needed not just within the health sector, but also within education, employment, social welfare and judicial departments," says WHO.
Dr Alexandra Fleischmann, Scientist in the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO, says:
"No matter where a country currently stands in suicide prevention, effective measures can be taken, even just starting at local level and on a small-scale."
The report also urges the media to be responsible about reporting suicides. They should not use language that sensationalizes suicide, nor give details of the means that people have used.
A study reported in Lancet Psychiatry earlier in 2014, found that in the US, high- profile coverage of suicides in the newspapers is linked to copycat suicides among teenagers.