Suicide is an important public health problem, more so in the Nordic countries. A few decades ago, suicide rates in Denmark and Finland were among the highest in the world, but since the 1980’s they have been decreasing in all the Nordic countries. Suicide is still very common among the elderly, and is one of the most common cause of death among young men. Men are nearly two to four times more likely to die by suicide than females. Suicide rates reveal distinct variations in the five Nordic countries.
In 2008, leading research institutions on suicide and suicide prevention in the Nordic countries agreed to form the Nordic Consortium for Evidence Based Research in Prevention of Suicide (NSP). The aim of this Consortium is to facilitate cross-national inspiration across all relevant areas for suicide prevention, for example: treatment guidelines after deliberate self-harm, assessment of suicide risk in different high-risk populations, public health initiatives, educational programs and preventive campaigns. The Consortium wishes to draw upon the experience pool of all Nordic countries, and take initiatives to coordinate suicide prevention strategies.
The Nordic Consortium for Evidence Based Research in Suicide Prevention has these visions:
- To share knowledge and updates on the structure and content of suicide prevention across Nordic countries,
- To pool resources and collaborate across national centres in the compilation of knowledge and preparing scientific publications, and
- To collaborate across national centres in seeking funding for suicide research and prevention development projects.
Furthermore, the Consortium will continue to work and produce evidence-based research, and compile studies concerning suicide prevention within the Nordic countries.
Suicide mortality rates in the Nordic countries 1980-2009
Data from all the Nordic countries were used to study long-term national trends in suicide rates. The findings reveal interesting differences in regional, age and gender trends. Suicide rates in the Nordic countries fell remarkably in most of the population segments during the 30 years period between 1980 to 2009. While a fall was absent among young Swedish women, contrary trends were observed among young Finnish and Norwegian women, as their suicide rates rose. The highest suicide rates were seen in the rural areas of Finland, Norway and Sweden. On the other hand, the most urban regions: capital areas in Denmark, Norway and Sweden had lower suicide rates than the respective national averages.
Titelman D, Oskarsson H, Wahlbeck K, Nordentoft M, Mehlum L, Jiang G, Erlangsen A, Nrugham L, Wasserman D. Suicide mortality trends in the Nordic countries 1980–2009. Nord J Psychiatry, 2013 Jan 7.
NSP online – www.nordicsuicideprevention.org
On NSPs web pages you will find information about the Consortium, strategies for suicide prevention in the Nordic countries, conferences, research collaboration and meetings. Results produced by the Nordic countries will also be shared on this web site. The URL for the website is: www.nordicsuicideprevention.org
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