Research clearly shows that banning or gradually phasing out highly hazardous pesticides can dramatically reduce suicide rates in agricultural communities. Success stories include South Korea, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (see Case Studies tab).
Many suicides are impulsive - most are done with less than 30 minutes planning, with people using whatever means is at hand. Suicidal crises are often acute – reducing the toxicity of available pesticides allows people to survive the crisis and then obtain help from their community or counselling. Relatively few go on to try again at a later time or with a different method.
Restricting access to lethal means of suicide (for example, banning and removing highly hazardous pesticides from agricultural practice through legislation and importation limitations) is a highly cost-effective way to prevent suicide. We estimate that more than 60% of suicides by self-poisoning with pesticides could be prevented through restricting access to HHPs.