The head of Iran’s coroner’s office says 4,055 people committed suicide in the country last year and the number of suicides is on the rise.

IRNA reports that Ahmad Shojai was addressing a seminar entitled Studies in Social Pathology when he said the rising number of suicides is of great concern. He stressed the importance of education and counselling as effective ways of preventing suicide.

The Coroner’s Office announced last year that there has been a 14-percent increase in the number of suicides across the country.

The Association of Social Workers of Iran released a report last year indicating 61,000 people committed suicide in Iran from 2001 to 2011.