Suicide Prevention: Using Graduation as a Transformative Tool


(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Pedro Anderson Ferreira Quirino, student of the fifth year of Medicine at the University of Pernambuco campus Serra Talhada and Mr. Alexandre dos Santos Lima, doctor from the Mauricio Nassau University Center – UNINASSAU . They are 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 writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

In recent years, the increase in suicide rates in Brazil and worldwide demonstrates the need to develop activities that propose to discuss the theme. In Brazil, the World Health Organization shows that 24 people commit suicide daily. A national study found that northeastern region recorded the highest percentage growth in suicide rates in 2000-2012 period. Although still below the national average (5.4/100,000 inhabitants), the suicide rate in the region jumped from 3.0/100,000 inhabitants in 2000 to 5.2/100,000 inhabitants in 2012. Second most populous state in the northeast region, Pernambuco has one of the lowest suicide rates in the country, with 3.43 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. However, it is notorious that cities in the interior of the state have rates higher than the national and state averages. An example of this is our municipality, Serra Talhada, which reported in 2013 a suicide rate of 7.22 deaths per 100,000 people.

How can we then act against this alarming local municipal reality?

As professionals of a basic health unit, we first need to discuss our role as a key player in suicide prevention, after all, in a reality where we try to go against the old Brazilian emergency care addiction, we know that primary care professionals are the ones that really know the patients. We can then gain their trust and must still be able to see if they have somatic symptoms, are more tired, maybe depressed, or if they are already depressed and are getting worse from depression.

To get us professionals to know how to identify and deal with these patients, however, we must first rethink the health degrees, as they should all take time to address the issue of suicide risk and its prevention. It is necessary to train people with more commitment, with more care. There is a lot of talk about humanization, but it is necessary to have a better education of all health professionals and, above all, of the doctor.

How then to insert this subject in graduation? What can we do to incite discussion at our university?

We believe that, like primary care itself, basic measures have great potential for effectiveness. Thus, the mere fact of being present at the undergraduate level taking these data to expose can already promote in students the need to discuss mental health and suicide prevention.

In addition, inserted with student representation, we can also seek to create a discipline focused only on the discussion of mental health, changing the reality of professionals already undergraduate, which in medium term can already have a positive effect on the primary care care.

Thus, we believe that the change from the hospital-centered model to a primary care model to which Brazil tries to move is extremely necessary. However, for such a change – given through both the Unified Health System and the Psychiatric Reform – to be effective, it must also be accompanied by changes in the curricula of health professionals.

About the author

Pedro Anderson Ferreira Quirino, student of the fifth year of Medicine at the University of Pernambuco campus Serra Talhada. President of the Local Committee IFMSA Brazil UPE-ST. Member of the National Team of Human Rights and Peace of IFMSA Brazil. Trainer in Medical Education at IFMSA.

Alexandre dos Santos Lima, doctor from the Mauricio Nassau University Center – UNINASSAU, acts at the Bom Jesus II Basic Health Unit in Serra Talhada-PE, Brazil. Preceptor of the Family and Community Medicine Internship of the University of Pernambuco campus Serra Talhada and of the IFMSA Brazil UPE-ST Family and Community Medicine Exchange.

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

3 ways governments can address cybersecurity in the post-pandemic world

MEPs approve new CO2 emissions limits for trucks

Modern humanitarian aid at times of global crises

3 ways activists are being targeted by cyberattacks

World ‘not yet on track’ to ensure children a better future: UN rights chief

Scaling for success: SMEs, tech innovations and the ITU Telecom World Awards 2019, in association with The European Sting

Yemen: Committee brings warring parties to the table in Hudaydah, builds on ceasefire

Students & Allies Unite Globally To Launch #Students_Against_COVID

Iraq needs support to ‘leave violent past behind’, says UN envoy as Security Council extends UN mission for one year

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

These airports are now opening their doors to non-fliers

The developing countries keep the world going

UN rights expert ‘strongly recommends’ probe by International Criminal Court into ‘decades of crimes’ in Myanmar

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: Banking moguls continue brandishing financial Armageddon to intimidate us all but in Davos they worry about the very distant future

4 lessons on human cooperation from the fight against Ebola

Uganda’s Ebola preparedness ‘will go a long way’ says WHO chief

New rules for short-stay visas: EP and Council reach a deal

Africa’s future is innovation rather than industrialization

EU and African leaders to jointly tackle the migration crisis across the Mediterranean

President Michel’s MFF proposal not acceptable for Parliament

Ukraine pays the price for lying between Russia and the EU

Companies that put employees first perform better

Brexit may finally not really happen; The Brits have second thoughts

Indonesia’s imams are joining the fight against plastic bags

Why banks escape from competition rules but not pharmaceutical firms

Statelessness for terrorists’ families, never an acceptable option, urges UN rights chief

Landmark EU Parliament – ECB agreement on bank supervision

Link between conflict and hunger worldwide, ‘all too persistent and deadly’, says new UN report

State aid: Commission approves €300 million public support for the development of ultrafast broadband network in Greece

More capital and liquidity for the banks

‘By no means is this over’: WHO briefing

Why the minutes and the months matter most to young people during the COVID-19 crisis

3 ways to make the 2020s the decade we close the gender gap

International Women’s Day: Where does she belong?

State aid: Commission approves €790 million Croatian guarantee scheme for companies with export activities affected by coronavirus outbreak

On Grexit: Incompetence just launched the historic Ultimatum that could open “pandora’s box”

How the great COVID-19 reset can help firms build a sustainable future

Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash. Here’s why

From zero to one: a realist’s guide to overcoming hopelessness

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

‘We can use this as an opportunity’ – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on how African nations can recover after COVID-19

The Amazon is burning and we’re all watching

Here are 4 ways investors can influence more secure and responsible innovation

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

The remote doctor, can it ever work?

EU Elections: new rules to prevent breaches of data used to influence elections

ILO and EIB join forces for more and better quality employment

New Iraqi Prime Minister-designate urged to act on reforms and accountability

From social entrepreneurship to systems entrepreneurship: how to create lasting change

UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

Seaweed straws and loose-leaf tea: 6 ways to reduce plastic waste

3 steps to making multistakeholder partnerships a powerful force

Taxation: Commission refers Spain to the Court for imposing disproportionate sanctions for failure to report assets held abroad

Myanmar military target civilians in deadly helicopter attack, UN rights office issues war crimes warning

Commission steps up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests

Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

Humanitarian visas would reduce refugees’ death toll

Is Britain to sail alone in the high seas of trade wars?

New citizenship law in India ‘fundamentally discriminatory’: UN human rights office

Sustainable finance: Commission welcomes deal on an EU-wide classification system for sustainable investments (Taxonomy)

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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