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19.9.2007

Finland no longer suicide capital of the world

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 6:44 pm

Finnish politicians were baffled for decades as to why raising taxes hasn’t lowered the suicide rates. Then it dawned on them, maybe education was the answer

Finland has finally shed a bleak record as one of the world’s suicide capitals after the number of people taking their own lives in this Nordic state has dropped by 40 percent in the past 15 years. Nowadays around 18 out of 100,000 people commit suicide each year in Finland, about the same level as in France and Austria. In 1990, the number was 30 per 100,000.

The decline is attributed largely to better treatment for depression, but even experts cannot really explain why the drop has been so dramatic, admits psychiatrist Jouko Loennqvist, the head of the mental health department of Finland’s National Public Health Institute. “Depression is more often properly recognised, prevented and treated. We have had special projects and campaigns about depression, which is now better recognised and treated. Psychological support and social support are nowadays in better condition,” he said.

Finland’s dire reputation as a nation of suicidals dates back to the 25-year period from 1965 to 1990 when Finland experienced an economic and urban boom. During that period, the suicide rate tripled. By 1991, Finland was the world leader in teen suicides, and among the top three in overall suicides alongside New Zealand and Iceland. Faced with the grim figures, Finnish authorities dramatically increased funding to improve mental health and since 1991 the amount of available psychiatric help has doubled.

[...]Experts meanwhile dismiss the widespread belief that Finland’s dark winters, where the sun doesn’t rise at all in the north for several months, play a role in the suicide rate. “There is a link (between darkness and suicide) but it’s not an important explanation,” Loennqvist said, noting that suicides tend to peak each year at the end of spring when the sun shines late into the day. And experts point out that Norway, located at the same latitude, for a long time had a suicide rate that was half that of Finland.

You see, this blog isn’t ALWAYS so negative and critical…! :-)

Hat Tip to Helsinkian for the link!

  • Em

    Thumps up to Finnish welfare department. Things are not that bad in this remote country :D

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    Well for one, Global Warming has helped here. Longer warmer summers are the answer.

    So, lets all help. Get in your Hummer and drive a tank of gas off, to help Finland.

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    Wait, as an evil American. I want Global Cooling and the S Rate to climb in Finland. Cx the Hummer trip.

  • Em

    It depends how you define “longer warmer summers”. It is a completely different story up north where you have to ask how many days it did not rain instead of how many days of rain did we get? :/

  • Herkku

    Em, you are trying to engage in discourse with winter. Does not compute. Retry? Cancel? Abort?

  • aet75

    Nicely done, thread hijacked by comment #2. Hallmark winter moment.

  • Em

    Herku i was trying to bring to your attention the fact that you cannot generalize. Agree :)

  • http://www.finlandforthought.net Phil

    Nicely done, thread hijacked by comment #2

    Actually winter usually hijacks my posts by comment #1 ;-)

  • tim73

    In many eastern cultures suicide is respectable way to go (like Japan) and Finns is a rare breed of both western and eastern. Put Phil in Vietnam and he is not going to understand local (ironic) jokes at all but Finns will.

  • http://www.verosirkus.com sirkuspelle

    I wonder how Hungary is doing nowadays. It was always right after Finland in the statistics.

    There is a whole different atmosphere there. The people are open, talkative and expressive. Yet there was (is?) a high suicide rate.

  • tim73

    People who do not think much, die of external reasons. People who think too much, die of internal reasons.

  • tim73

    One thing really American Phil shoud ask: is Commodore-64. THAT WAS THE MACHINE. Kuuslankku ja mikrobitti.

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    Yuk, guys, they just pained the house (inside), and the new Sauna room.

    How will the paint last under a hot Sauna bake off? I plan to cover the room in Cedar, so that could shield the paint.

    Any Ideas?

  • d larue

    i plan to help america gain its share soon

  • http://www.verosirkus.com Sirkuspelle

    @13: Cedar? You mean like cigar-box cedar? That might not be very good for you in the long run. I have heard the sawdust from that is toxic. Sauna walls are normally surfaced with spruce and the benches are made with alder.

  • Dave the Defibrillator

    “You see, this blog isn’t ALWAYS so negative and critical…!” – Phil

    Well then why do I always want to kill myself after visiting it?

  • Dave the Defibrillator

    “How will the paint last under a hot Sauna bake off? I plan to cover the room in Cedar, so that could shield the paint.” – winter

    Apparently you and your builders know as much about saunas as you do about everything else.

    Saunas reach temperatures of up to 100 degrees C, and god knows how hot the walls get. There should be nothing like paint in there.

    The paint will “last” a couple of saunas, but after a few weeks of regular use what you will have is paint fumes seeping through the cracks, over months and years who knows what the paint will do (carcinogens, anyone? Oh, but you have proton power at your disposal, so no worries about cancer, right?)

    You should have some insulation between the sauna walls and any other surface. What you have going on now is a mistake.

    And your plans of cedar? Eh?

  • Kristian

    I would just use 5/8″ pine boards that can be locked together by the end-grooves. Leave unpainted!

    The benches can also be made from pine (unless you can find adler, as Sirkuspelle suggested), but use thick 5/4″ stock for horizontal and diagonal supporting members—clean, no knots! Vertical posts can be 3.5^2 square or slightly less. Slats for sitting and standing can be the normal 3/4″ if spaces between supports aren’t too wide; otherwise use 5/4″.

    Pay attention to the railings. Make sure the posts go all the way to the floor where they are anchored. Or have some type of triangular design underneath to support lateral forces. Just don’t let him do simple tack-on railing posts. You’ll regret it.

    For insulation, you might consider blown-in, rigid foam. But make sure you’ve got enough space to let air vent-out between the stud bays. Drill holes in the top and bottom plates of the frame wall to let air circulate. Without the air channels, the structure can rot from the back side.

    A vapor barrier is also a good idea to keep heat in. They probably have special ones at sauna suppliers.

  • Dave the Defibrillator

    “A vapor barrier is also a good idea to keep heat in. They probably have special ones at sauna suppliers.” – Kristian

    I think there is the last sauna monopoly in existence in the US, located somewhere in Minnesota or was it Michigan.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    Yuk, guys, they just pained the house (inside), and the new Sauna room.

    How will the paint last under a hot Sauna bake off?

    Maby, just maby, you might have wanted to consider that BEFORE you chose the paint? Do tell me you used regular latex paint…

  • Anonymous

    You see, this blog isn’t ALWAYS so negative and critical…!

    Also Reader’s Digest, the apple pie of the American press, has turned nanny:

    http://www.rd.com/content/best-places-to-live-green/

  • JG

    From the evidence of recent blog entries on FfT, this country really is falling to bits. Only bronze in divorce and now we are not even world champions in suicide. It’s all very disappointing. I really hope it’s not the Swedes that have beaten us. We must try harder.

  • another suicide
  • kia

    i have tried suicide once and im from finland omg! haha moi kaikki ihanat suomalaiset jotka lukee tätäkin paska kirjotusta salee on vissii kans joo angstisin maa

  • http://www.allaboutdog.co.cc/search/fashion+pet+dog+pajama+size+chart/ dogs food

    One of my objectives in existence would be to discover as much as I can and this weblog certainly teached me some things.

    Happy running a blog..lol

  • Len Lempa

    The finns are also doing amazing work with schizophrenia using an amazing model called the Open Dialogue approach. 

  • Memphis Steve

    I’m surprised at how difficult it is to find more information on this subject. I mean, it’s good that things have improved, but after 60 Minutes did a story on depression among Finnish males it was as if the story was somehow banned in America after that. 

  • Daybreakdown

    This statistics make me wonder…why? i know most people are sensible to dark, but…Finland is very beautiful and has such wealth, how is this possible. I understand when someone lost a loved one or has a bad desease, but besides that…i just dont get it. But perhaps i am quite unnusual..I was in Finland, Norway and Sweden in winter for quite times and i love it. Love the beauty of the countriside, it kind of give me energy and well being. In the opposite the excruciating heat of my country (the annoying and narrow portugal, unfortunately :( , depresses me so much. The noisy streets, the noisy people, the sun, the hot weather…its awful!!! I hate summer in portugal so much.  Here in a country devastated by political corruption, annoying subculture, a boring winter weather, urban pressure (here its difficult to get really outdoors…), me, a dedicated worker/student such as me feel no future. Even with loads of my efforts..Under a burning summer sun, i could at least strive if i had good career oportunities, but this way, with my career in danger, this is the recipe for depression. In the other hand i would feel bad going to live in another country since its not where i am from, feels unconfortable like going to live in “someone elses home”. Its depressing be portuguese, and when you just want to be happy in your own, like me, it can turn out to be painfull. I wish i was born nordic, scandinavian, etc. I would have a good career, outdoor life (i love hiking, ski, etc), quietness, polite people, mild weather, cold beautiful winter and so on.  Maybe my words make no sense for most of you, but its a different view. In my oppinion, portugal has the very perfect recipe for being prone to suicide. Sorry for bothering…  :(

  • Joe_Smith

    It’s probably because of Socialism, it has a tendency to do that: no motivation to live.

  • Jamesbryermusic

    Portugal is in the EU right? Fuck that place move to Great Britain, Europe’s only hope.

  • Jamesbryermusic

    and I’m sorry you feel that way, but finish your education and come here – we’ll have u :D (UK)

  • Nick

    You’re thinking of Capitalism. Which makes the poor poorer and the rich richer. That’s where the no motivation to live comes from. 

  • Sharon

    Finland still has a high level of suicide certainly nothing to be
    Proud of could it be its so called brilliant education system the world wants to follow.

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