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The intentional killing of oneself can be 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 upheavals in personal relationships, through alcohol and drug abuse, unemployment, clinical depression or 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‐reported because of the stigma that is associated with the act, or because of data issues associated with reporting criteria (see "Definition and comparability").