The intentional killing of oneself is evidence not only of personal breakdown, but also of a deterioration of the social context in which an individual lives. Suicide may be the end‐point of a number of different contributing factors. It is more likely to
occur during crisis periods associated with divorce, alcohol and drug abuse, unemployment, clinical depression and other forms of mental illness. Because of this, suicide is often used as a proxy indicator of the mental health status of a population. However,
the number of suicides in certain countries may be under‐estimated because of the stigma that is associated with the act, or because of data issues associated with reporting criteria (see "Definitions and deviations").