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.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

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

MEPs vote for upgrade to rail passenger rights

Forget GDP – for the 21st century we need a modern growth measure

European Youth Forum welcomes the European Commission’s proposed revision of the Union Code on Visas, however it does not go far enough

Sweden well ahead in digital transformation yet has more to do

In the future of work it’s jobs, not people, that will become redundant

Unemployment and exclusion brings EU cities to boiling point

Mixed news about the Eurozone economy

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

Why forensic science is in crisis and how we can fix it

Brexit: Six more months of political paralysis or a May-Corbyn compromise?

4 innovative renewable energy projects powering Europe’s green future

TTIP wins Merkel’s endorsement ahead of 2016 tough deadline

UN and Red Cross chiefs appeal for end to use of explosive weapons in cities

How the North Korea-U.S. detente is a leveling of the playing field

MEPs demand end to EU arms exports to Saudi Arabia

Eurozone plans return to growth

5 times people predicted the future and got it really wrong

Pharmaceuticals: Commission refines intellectual property rules

This is how much the US-China trade war could cost the world, according to new research

Drinking water: new plans to improve tap water quality and cut plastic litter

Texting is a daily source of stress for 1/3 of people – are you one of them?

“The Arctic climate matters: to what degree?”, a Sting Exclusive co-authored by UN Environment’s Jan Dusik and Slava Fetisov

Monsanto lawsuit ruling a ‘significant recognition’ of victims’ human rights, say UN rights experts

To my Chinese friend

Greece to stay in the euro area but the cost to its people remains elusive

France is bringing back national service

Malta and Slovakia: serious shortcomings in the rule of law

The UN has a 17-point plan to save the world. So how’s it doing?

Where will evolution take us in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Antitrust: Commission fines Sanrio €6.2 million for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products featuring Hello Kitty characters

Amid ‘unprecedented combination’ of epidemics, UN and partners begin cholera vaccination campaign in DR Congo

Microplastics, microbeads and single-use plastics poisoning sea life and affecting humans, says UN Environment

Will the EU be condemned by the International Criminal Court for violating migrants’ human rights?

FROM THE FIELD: Finding refuge in the ‘beautiful game’

Putin becomes the ‘perfect enemy” for the West

What the car industry has done to help fight climate change – and what it needs to do next

Human Rights Council election: 5 things you need to know about it

Does Switzerland really need more medical students?

How secure is blockchain?

Social inclusion: how much should young people hope from the EU? 

These are the benefits of learning a second language

Better ID card security to curb document fraud

Why is Merkel’s Germany so liberal with the refugees? Did the last elections change that?

EU trade agreements deliver on growth and jobs, support sustainable development

Boris as UK Premier to be cornered if attempting a no-deal Brexit

Sexual exploitation and abuse: latest UN quarterly update

ICC Appeals Chamber acquits former Congolese Vice President Bemba from war crimes charges

Better air pollution data is helping us all breathe easier. Here’s how

Europe’s far-right launches attacks on neighboring nations

After Rio Grande tragedy, UNICEF chief highlights ‘dire’ detention centres on US-Mexico border

Who is to pay the dearest price in a global slowdown?

EU: Turkey to shelter Syrian refugees and turn other immigrants back in return of €3 billion

Here’s the secret to financing a greener future

Syrians still living on ‘razor edge’ as UN launches $8.8 billion dollar appeal

UN launches Facebook Messenger-powered bot to take on climate change

4 ways to become a ‘business baobab’ on the African economic landscape

EU regional differences betray an unjust arrangement

How India’s new consumers can contribute to a $6 trillion opportunity

Humanitarian aid convoy to Syria’s Rukban camp: Mission Accomplished

Is the EU’s enlargement over-stretched?

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