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Along with September 10 – World Suicide Prevention Day, we publish the infographic “Suicide can be prevented” by the psychiatrist of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center, Vlatka Boričević Maršanić, PhD-MD, who emphasizes that the prevention of youth suicide is everyone’s responsibility. In the circle of youth suicide prevention are: family, friends, school, health, social care, police, judiciary and religious communities. Suicide is the result of the interaction of genetic, psychological, social, and cultural factors, often associated with experiences of trauma and loss. This heterogeneity in causal factors requires a multidisciplinary approach in suicide prevention.
Suicide is one of the leading public health problems. The World Health Organization estimates that about 800,000 people commit suicide each year, which would mean that one person takes their own life every 40 seconds. What is particularly worrying is the increase in the number of suicides among young people.
Suicide is the 2nd most common cause of death between the ages of 10 and 24, according to the World Health Organization
The incidence of suicide attempts is highest in middle and late adolescence.
Boys are twice as likely to commit suicide as girls, while girls are three times more likely to attempt suicide.
About 90% of children who committed suicide had some sort of mental disorder, most commonly depression, and two-thirds had spoken of suicide a year earlier.
Any thinking and behavior in adolescents related to suicide should be taken seriously and professional help sought
The most significant risk factors for attempted and committed suicide are self-harm, exposure to traumatic and negative experiences, peer abuse, a positive family history of mental disorders and suicide, lack of family and community support.
Suicide is important to demystify, as well as work to combat the stigma of mental health problems, as mental health problems are most often in the background of suicidality.
This is possible through multidisciplinary engagement at the community level.
Public health education is important to make the problem easier to spot in the circle of family or close friends of the young person, but it is also extremely important to educate employees of the judiciary, social welfare, police and all those who can provide support and standfast to vulnerable young people, for example teachers or person from religious or sports communities.
Disclaimer: This is unofficial translation provided for information purposes. Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center cannot be held legally responsible for any translation inaccuracy.