Finnish suicide rate reduced through social networking

suicideSuicide ratesCases of ending one’s own life in Finland have been reduced over the past decade by around aone -third. However, the country is still plagued with has the highest figures in the Nordic region’s highest rate of suicide.

In 1990 there were 1,500 cases of suicides reported, but the current figure now falls closer to 1,000. The National Institute for Health and Welfare’s (THL) Professor Jouko Lonnqvist has attributed the decline to a large- scale prevention campaign undertaken over the past last twenty years, in addition totogether with an improved better understanding of suicide symptoms and depression.

Lonnqvist has also cited other factors as contributing to the reduction, notably the resurgent Finnish self-esteem across the continent and also the rise of social media such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The Professor also suggested that mobile phone availability had also aided the decrease of suicide rates. “People feel less on their own than before. A person can always contact someone thanks to contemporary social networking,” said Lonnqvist.

The fourth most common source of death, alcohol, is a factor in one -third of all suicides in Finland. Mental illnesses including schizophrenia are no higher than elsewhere in Europe. The Baltic countries, along with Poland, Slovenia and Hungary, see the highest suicide levels across the continent, with Finland placing after these nations on a par with Flemish Belgium and Northern France, according to YLE. Southern Europe features the lowest suicide rates.

Male suicides in Finland are four times the rate of those in women, with the majority of cases being from within the lower social classes. The one exception is the province of Uusimaa, where a relatively high number of well- educated and well- supported women commit suicide–, mainly from drowning–, each year.

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