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Suicide prevention in Sweden 

Suicide prevention in Sweden
Chapter:
Suicide prevention in Sweden
Author(s):

Danuta Wasserman

, Ana Nordenskiöld

, Inga-Lill Ramberg

, and Camilla Wasserman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198570059.003.0124
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date: 25 August 2019

Suicide and attempted suicide are still surrounded by feelings of guilt, shame, fear and unease. These acts are often incorrectly perceived as being predestined and impossible to prevent. Suicide among men in the 15–44 age group is the most common cause of death in Sweden. For females in the same age group, suicide is the second most common cause of death after tumours.

A suicidal act is not only a drastic example of difficulties in coping with the hardships of life and mental problems, but it is also a frequent indicator of how the health care and public health systems and ordinary fellow human beings fail to respond in an adequate manner to suicidal people. The responses encountered by suicidal individuals seeking care are a measure of quality, not only of medical and psychological care services, but also of the psychosocial conditions in society.

Ambiguous attitudes towards preventive measures and the persistent taboo surrounding suicide, as well as the attitude that suicide is a human right, make suicide-preventive activities necessary. In 1993, the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) stated that a country wishing to embark on active efforts to prevent suicide needs to have a national programme, as well as an institution for activities of this kind.

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