Topic A: Promoting Suicide Prevention and Reducing Incidences of Suicide
Suicide is ranked as the 17th leading cause of death globally, with 800,000 instances taking place each year, or 1.4% of deaths. Worse yet, this number has been rising in recent years. To combat this growing epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) created a suicide prevention program, SUPRE, to spread awareness of the growing issue as well as ways in which communities can fight against it. SUPRE sees cultural taboos, reporting, ineffective preventive measures, a lack of certified reliable medical intervention, and an overall lack of awareness as the primary obstacles to preventing further suicide cases. Suicide prevention is one of the most uniquely personal health issues across the world, but given the magnitude of the issue, it is one that must be addressed on a global scale.
Topic B: Reducing the Burden of Physical Disability
While the common definition of disability is often described as the inability to perform certain tasks due to a variety of health factors, disability should not be reduced to being only a health problem. The term also seeks to draw attention to the "interaction between features of a person's body and features of the society in which he or she lives." According to the World Bank, 15% of the world's population—one billion people—experience some form of disability. Like many other health concerns, developing countries experience a higher prevalence of disability, ranging from 12% in high-income countries to 18% in low-income countries. Additionally, the negative stigmas and beliefs associated with disabled people fuel overt discrimination and social exclusion. To address this topic, delegates will need to address the many challenges facing the disabled, including poor disability healthcare services, education and employment gaps, inaccessibility, and the intersection between disability and gender. Further action from WHO is a crucial step in reducing the burden of physical disabilities and working towards a world where disabled people are able to navigate their lives with ease.