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Suicide claims more lives than road traffic accidents

Wed 17th Mar 2010

The annual suicide rate in Spain has now exceeded the number of deaths recorded in road traffic accidents.

Psychiatrists from Madrid Autonomous University have criticized the fact that Doctors do not recognize or even treat the issue seriously, and revealed that 50% of the victims of suicides during 2008 had been to the doctor the previous month suffering from some form of depression.

An estimated 20% seek some kind of help after a failed attempt, however, as the rise in suicides seems to be related to the recession, many of those who have tried unsuccessfully have said that they just want a job, not a psychiatrist.

The president of the Spanish Psychiatric Society states that there is a significant lack of resources and investment available to the Health Service in order that they can better understand the issue and ultimately prevent suicides in most cases. He proposes that local GP's should receive training on how to spot vulnerable patients who were potentially suicidal.

Leading Psychiatrists have also demanded answers as to why many health authorities have not attempted to deal with the problem, considering that in many circumstances, the suicides could have been prevented.

3,421 took their own lives in 2008, with 90% believed to be suffering from some kind of mental health problem depression in most cases.

Statistics show that men are two to four times more likely to take their lives, however, women make more attempts to take their lives unsuccessfully.

Experts say that Spain previously had one of the lowest suicide rates in the whole of Europe, but since 1985 it has been slowly increasing - and is now one of the highest.

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