Abu Faour and Nahhas at the launch of the nationwide campaign to prevent suicide. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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One person dies of suicide in Lebanon every three days, a figure that a top government health official described as "frightening" and which will be the target of a new national suicide prevention campaign.Health officials pledged to launch a suicide prevention hotline within two years and highlighted initiatives that are providing affordable mental health care to those who need it, saying the actual figure for suicides is likely higher due to the religious and cultural taboo surrounding the issue.The release of the Lebanon figures comes on the heels of a major World Health Organization report published last week, which found that 800,000 people die due to suicide annually, making it the second leading cause of death for 15- to 29-year-olds.The WHO estimated that 43 deaths due to suicide occurred in Lebanon in 2012, but officials said the actual number of registered deaths was 107 for that year, meaning a person dies due to suicide in Lebanon every three days.Nahas said the suicide rate is projected to increase by 25 percent in 2014 compared to previous years.
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