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Suicide: the first non-natural cause of death affecting mostly men

Eastern countries have the highest rates in Europe. Pioneer plans to prevent suicide are started in countries like Spain, where the incidence has been growing among young women.

AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus MADRID 12 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 2022 13:00 h
Photo: [link]Pierre Bamin[/link], Unsplash, CC0.

Suicide prevention is becoming a talking point in the last years. 10 September was the World Day of Suicide Prevention.

In Spain, a country that has traditionally had lower figures, the Health Ministry is calling to “break the silence” to bring generate a debate that leads to “action and hope”.

The official figures of 2021 show that 3,941 died by suicide in the Mediterranean country. A large majority (three in four) are men.

The “huge public health problem” is not new, but many of the resources implemented are. A 24-hour live chat service targeting teenagers and other young people has started to work this year. Many feel more comfortable writing on their phone than calling the “024”. This line is working since May 2022, and 43,000 have been attended through the service – in 700 cases a suicide attempt was underway.


1 in 100 deaths worldwide

The International Association of Suicide Prevention estimated that around 700,000 people take their live every year. One in every 100 deaths in the world is the result of suicide.

58% of deaths by suicide occur before the age of 50 years old. An individual suffering of depression is 20 times more likely to die by suicide.

“For every suicide, there are likely twenty other people making a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide. Millions of people suffer intense grief or are otherwise profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviours”, the WHO says.


A problem among men and young women

Suicide attempts continues to be a problem mainly among men, whose deaths more than double those of women. The fact that suicide has been a taboo topic in many societies has made it difficult to put in place resources that make a difference.

In contrast, it is women that most worry experts when they look at the younger generations. The typical profile is that of a women attempting suicide through an overdose of medication in the main profile.

In Spain, 8 hospitals have launched pioneer clinic project to prevent and reduce suicide attempts. They will follow-up 2,000 young people who have had suicide attempts. Online and face-to-face interactions will be implemented.

As one medical expert underlines, “the person who has suicidal thoughts is someone wants to stop suffering, not dying”. To understand this and better respond to the “muted pandemic” there is a need to raise real “social awareness”, experts say.


Suicide in Europe

The country with the highest suicide rate in Europe is Lithuania, with 26.1 per 100,000 in the year 2019. Following is Russia with 26.1 per 100,000, followed by other countries in the Eastern Europe: Ukraine, Montenegro, Belarus, Latvia and Slovenia.

In the Western European countries, Belgium has a worser average than others (18,3), and in the Nordic countries it is Finland (15.3).  

Data published by the organisation Samaritans in the United Kingdom, show that in 2021 5,219 suicides were registered in England (307 more than in 2020, which had seen a decrease). The suicide rate among men was of 15,5 per 100,000 compared to a female suicide rate of 5.5 per 100,000.




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MIEMBRO DE: Evangelical European Alliance (EEA) y World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)

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