WHO MiNDbank: More Inclusiveness Needed in Disability and Development

A database of resources covering mental health, substance abuse, disability, general health, human rights and development

Suicide prevention in Switzerland: Starting point, need for action and action plan (2016)

Government of Switzerland Country Resources Suicide Prevention Switzerland 2016 Policy document

This translation feature uses a third-party service. Please be advised that the machine-translated content may not be accurate. Translation only applies to this page and is not available for downloaded files or external links.



Switzerland adopted a national action plan for suicide prevention in November 2016. This document sets out Switzerland’s most important epidemiological benchmarks, the objectives and measures of the action plan as well as the planned implementation by the stakeholders.
The document shows the state of suicide prevention in Switzerland, and is intended to promote knowledge sharing with other stakeholders.

The suicide prevention action plan is intended to decrease the rate of suicide and suicide attempts (i.e. the number of suicides in relation to the population size of Switzerland) further and sustainably.

The suicide rate has not changed since 2010, showing that greater effort is required. Generally speaking, the lower the suicide rate, the greater the energy that must be invested in prevention efforts in order to achieve further reduction.

The action plan aims to reduce the number of suicides per 100 000 inhabitants by about 25% by 2030 (as compared with 2013). The target for 2030 is therefore about 10 suicides per 100 000 inhabitants (men: about 15 suicides per 100 000 inhabitants, women: about 5 suicides per 100 000 inhabitants).

A comparison with suicide rates in other European countries5 shows that this reduction is possible. For example, in 2013 suicide rates of less than 15 per 100,000 inhabitants were reported for men in Great Britain, Spain, Italy and Luxembourg. Norway, Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark had rates just above these. The rates for women were no greater than 5 suicides per 100,000 inhabitants in Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece in 2013.

If this target can be reached in the long term (by 2030), about 300 deaths from suicide and great suffering on the part of about 3,000 relatives and loved ones will be prevented in Switzerland. Nevertheless, about 1,000 suicide deaths will still be lamented every year, due to the increase in the resident population as a whole and particularly the number of people 65 years of age and older.

Das Parlament hat 2014 den Bund durch die Annahme der Motion Ingold 113973 «Suizidprävention. Handlungsspielraum wirkungsvoller nutzen»1 beauftragt einen Aktionsplan zur Suizidprävention vorzulegen und umzusetzen. Suizidprävention ist eine gesamtgesellschaftliche Aufgabe und betrifft viele Akteure des Gesundheitswesens.

Die Ziele des Aktionsplans sind:
 persönliche und soziale Ressourcen stärken
 über Suizidalität informieren und sensibilisieren
 Hilfe anbieten, die schnell und einfach zugänglich ist (z.B. die Hotline der Dargebotenen Hand)
 Suizidalität frühzeitig erkennen und frühzeitig intervenieren (z.B. durch Bildungsangebote für Fachpersonen wie das in der Westschweiz etablierte Angebot «faire face au risque suicidaire»)
 suizidale Menschen auf ihrem Genesungsweg wirksam unterstützen
 suizidale Handlungen durch einen erschwerten Zugang zu tödlichen Mitteln und Methoden erschweren
 Hinterbliebene und beruflich Involvierte unterstützen (z.B. Selbsthilfe-gruppen für Hinterbliebene, Angebote für Mitarbeitende)
 suizidpräventive Medienberichterstattung sowie suizidpräventive Nutzung digitaler Kommunikationsmittel fördern
 Monitoring und Forschung fördern
 Beispiele guter Praxis aus der Schweiz und aus dem Ausland verbreiten


German, 1.1 MB pdf
English, 365.7 kB pdf

WHO collates and provides external links to resources focusing on mental health, disability, general health, human rights and development but does not specifically endorse particular laws, policies, plans or other documents from countries or organisations. WHO also does not warrant that the information in this record is correct or refers to the most up-to-date version. Please read the site disclaimer for further details. If this record contains an error or is outdated, please notify us.