Male suicide rate up again ({{commentsTotal}})

According to Statistics Estonia, the number of suicides committed by young and middle-aged men in Estonia underwent a sharp rise last year. International studies suggest this is a delayed impact of the financial crisis.

The number of suicides in Estonia reached a low in 2013, but 2014 was not as positive.

The negative trend is especially sharp in the 25-29-year-old and 45-49-year-old men age groups.

In general, suicides among males are about four times more common in Estonia than among women.

Experts struggle to explain the rising numbers. The reasons uncovered by the last thorough study, conducted in 1999, are too outdated to offer any insight.

However, international studies suggest that results of large-scale social phenomena associated with suicides, such as a financial crisis, usually struck with a few years delay, said Merike Sisask, executive director of the Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute.

Sisask added that a study into if and how one or both partners working abroad - something that affects a lot of Estonians, especially the 25-29 age group - has a bearing on the suicide rate in Estonia. Working abroad could but a strain on family relationships, contributing to feelings of loneliness and abandonment, Sisask explained.

Estonia has still gone a long way to decrease its suicide rate. The Estonian Mental Health and Well-Being Coalition (VATEK), in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Open Estonia Foundation, is now working on a new mental health and well-being strategy.

Editor: M. Oll

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