Finland held candlelit vigils on Sunday to commemorate its citizens who have taken their own lives.
An average of two people a day commit suicide in Finland, and campaigners insist it is time for a suicide prevention strategy to be put in place.
The Finnish Central Association for Mental Health organised the annual event, at which candlelit vigils were held all over the country. The association is urging more action to take place to fight the scourge of suicide, and says there must be a national suicide prevention strategy drawn up as it estimates that up to 20,000 people try to commit suicide in Finland each year.
The event this year came just weeks after a mother in Rautavaara apparently killed her three children before taking her own life. Olavi Syanmaanlakka, the managing director of the association, explained that the incident in Rautavaara shows why a national suicide prevention strategy is so urgently needed. She said that at a time economic reforms were being considered, a plan to protect the “social capital” needed to be implemented.
The Finnish Central Association for Mental Health has organised the annual vigils since 1992 as it aims to draw people’s attention to suicide and how we can prevent it.