Mental health: what can be done to diminish increasing suicide rates?

mental healths

(Stefano Pollio, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Alvija Kučinskaitė, a second-year medical student at Vilnius University, Lithuania. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Over the last two decades, worldwide suicide rates have been continuously increasing and have consequently become the 2nd leading cause of death on a global level, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Not only does such statistical data reflect the result of unresolved issues in healthcare systems but it also indicates the poor condition of society’s mental health. However, pro-active measures can be taken in order to improve the current situation.

Mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc., have been shown to be one of the most prevalent factors of pre-suicidal state development. Nevertheless, the significance of impulsive suicides that happen in a moment of crisis, cannot be diminished. Both suffering from mental illnesses and dealing with stressful spontaneous breakdowns can lead people to seek suicide as a way to escape resilience and emotional resourcefulness requiring life events or mental states. Therefore, strengthening people’s emotional intellect can be one of the main root-cause eliminating precautions in order to decrease the number of suicides. This solution can be understood from the salutogenic standpoint – the more peoples’ sense of coherence will be developed, the less they will be likely to choose such marginal measures as suicide to cope with challenging situations.

Provided that due to various life circumstances (abusive, toxic families, traumas, etc.) not everyone is capable of developing a high level of emotional intelligence, kids from an early age should be educated on productive personality traits and healthy coping mechanisms. It is crucial that alongside traditional school subjects pupils would get to know at least the basics of human mental health, its risk factors, and most widespread disorders. Furthermore, educating adults is nonetheless important. By spreading knowledge and bringing the topic of mental health into the daylight, not only can people contribute to fostering a non-judgemental understanding of those who suffer but also develop an awareness of their own state of mind.

In addition to the stigma attached to mental issues, problems in the healthcare system also pose a great threat to the already alarming suicide rates. For instance, in Lithuania, an average of 15 minutes is provided to collect a thorough anamnesis, diagnose, prescribe medication and do the process of the documentation, during a consultation with a primary care physician. This time is not nearly enough for the precise and thorough examination of the patient, therefore, the mental aspect of the patient’s overall health tends to be overlooked. Additionally, this interferes with establishing connection between a patient and a doctor, leading to the unwillingness to share one’s emotional struggles that impair the quality of life. Hence, it is the healthcare systems’ disfunction that prevents the doctors to apply a biopsychosocial approach during a consultation, consequently contributing to undiagnosed and untreated mental disorders. In order to promote the progress of suicide prevention in medical care facilities, the notable changes in the healthcare system have to be made. In addition to the extended consultation time, there should be a particular group of extra anamnesis questions that would allow the doctors to quickly determine a patient’s state of emotional well-being and intervene if needed.

The striking suicide numbers are a desperate call for preventative actions to be administered. Nurturing emotional intelligence, destigmatizing harmful beliefs, and upgrading the medical care system can be extremely effective when trying to prevent suicidal behaviors to escalate further. These interventions can be extremely effective if applied solely by themselves, but only when the complex of actions will be exerted can we foresee the future where people from risk groups are not bound to become just a common number in suicide statistics.

About the author

Alvija Kučinskaitė, 19, is a second-year medical student at Vilnius University, Lithuania. She is a member of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations of Lithuania (LiMSA) and has been working with the SCOME team since 2019.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This is how trees could help solve the climate crisis

Humanitarian Aid: EU announces €18.5 million additional package for Latin America and the Caribbean

This is how COVID-19 has impacted workers’ lives around the world

Why financial services can kickstart Africa’s digital economy

New UN report launched to help ratchet up action to combat climate crisis

Measles in Europe: infection rates highest in a decade, says UN health agency

Governments, businesses ‘walk the talk’ for investment in sustainable development: UN forum

Women must be at ‘centre of peacekeeping decision-making’, UN chief tells Security Council

IMF’s Lagarde indirectly cautioned Eurozone on deflation

General Assembly officially adopts roadmap for migrants to improve safety, ease suffering

Financial stability: Commission addresses risks of Libor cessation

European Defence Fund on track with €525 million for Eurodrone and other joint research and industrial projects

How to promote Primary Healthcare to the Young Healthcare Workforce?

Human Resources Information Systems Specialist Trainee – 2013

This member of the banana tree family could help us cut COVID-19 plastic waste

This is what has led to the George Floyd protests in the United States

Scores killed in ‘barbaric’ attack on Mali village, UN chief urges restraint, calls for ‘dialogue’ to resolve tensions

Finnish Prime Minister calls for a more united EU of concrete actions

COP24 negotiations: Why reaching agreement on climate action is so complex

Technology and public healthcare: the basis to fight COVID-19

Connectivity and collaboration in the ICT industry: the key to socio-economic development

Four in 10 indigenous languages at risk of disappearing, warn UN human rights experts

Myanmar: Conflict resolution at ‘total standstill’, military commanders must answer for crimes against humanity

Clean air is good for business

Rule of Law: Commission launches infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

Why ‘video call fatigue’ might be making you tired during lockdown – and how to beat it

Paris, Washington, IMF against Berlin and ECB on money and interest

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to O2 CZ, CETIN and T-Mobile CZ for their network sharing agreement

COVID-19 put 1.6 billion children out of school. Here’s how to upgrade education post-pandemic

These 5 start-ups are shaping the future of Africa’s cities

Syria: UN-backed watchdog says chemical weapon ‘likely used’ in February attack

UN rights expert calls for end to ‘purgatory’ of ‘international inaction’ facing Myanmar’s remaining Rohingya

Coronavirus: Commission proposes to ease restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU while addressing variants through new ‘emergency brake’ mechanism

Monday’s Daily Brief: biodiversity and forests, labour and road safety, women’s rights, and fallen UN staff remembered

EU Parliament approves CETA: the EU-Canada free trade deal sees the light in Trump’s gloomy era

What technology changes will 2021 bring? Here’s what business leaders say

Brexit: when the hubris of one man can set the UK, the EU and the entire world on fire

Less than half of EU travellers are aware of EU Passenger Rights

Electronic cigarettes: is it really a safe alternative to smoking?

UN will do ‘utmost to prevent and mitigate any risk of violence’ in DR Congo, pledges Mission chief

IMF – World Bank meetings: US – Germany clash instituted, anti-globalization prospects visualized

‘The clock is ticking’ on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, says UN deputy chief

EU shapes its ambitious strategy on India

This is why attractive cities do better economically

Why South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

UN rights office calls for action to end ‘repression and retaliation’ in crisis-torn Nicaragua

Vegans in France are using extreme tactics to stop people eating meat

COVID-19 and nature are linked. So should be the recovery.

A Sting Exclusive: “Entrepreneurship in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) era” written by the Vice-President of Junior Enterprises Europe

Myanmar military committed ‘routine, systematic’ sexual violence against ethnic minorities, UN experts find

UK economy in dire straits: leading banks now officially plan to Brexit too

Marking international day, UN experts call for urgent action to end racial discrimination, in wake of New Zealand anti-Muslim attack

Vaccination challenges for middle and low-income countries

EU: Protecting victims’ rights from cartels and market abuses

ACP-EU : Agreement on climate change, migration and post-Cotonou

Student-to-Tutor Ratio: a thought about the ideal model

State aid: Commission approves €73 million of Italian support to compensate Alitalia for further damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

UN chief praises impact of Palestine refugee agency as ‘our common success’, at key pledging conference

China by numbers: 10 facts to help you understand the superpower today

The ephemerality of the public-private health boundary

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Harold A Maio Maio says:

    —-In addition to the stigma attached to mental issue

    Is better presented as: In addition to teaching us to attach a stigma

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s