The Canary Islands, with 9.15 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, has, after Asturias, Galicia and La Rioja, the fourth highest suicide rate in Spain, for which it regretted the death of 197 people in 2019, nine of them with more than 79 years, a health and social problem for the prevention of which he has included a specific protocol in his Mental Health Plan. This was highlighted yesterday, according to Efe, in the presentation of this program, which will be announced in a campaign on social networks that will encourage people to talk about suicide and ask for help and discard the idea that this behavior is a taboo subject of which there is The director of the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS), Conrado Domínguez, and the general directors of Assistance Programs and Public Health, Elizabeth Hernández and José Juan Alemán, have to be ashamed or suffer alone.
The Ministry of Health presents a campaign to avoid voluntary deaths
Yesterday the International Suicide Prevention Day was commemorated and, for this reason, the group led by Lagarejo registered in the Parliament of the Canary Islands an initiative to implement a plan in this area, with the aim of getting the autonomous government to commit firmly to reduce voluntary deaths. On the islands, a suicide is registered within 48 hours of the previous one. The School of Actors of the Canary Islands (EAC) and the Official College of Psychology have recorded an audiovisual in which they expose this reality and the lack of public resources to face the problem.
In Felipe Lagarejo’s opinion, “this is a silenced pandemic,” which is why he invites us to reflect on it. Said professional recalls that suicide is not due to a single cause, but to many, and affects all areas and social strata. Precisely for this reason, he believes that administrations must provide solutions that encompass the whole of society and that are effective.
In the opinion of this psychologist, the preventive program of the Canary Islands Government focuses on Health “but leaves the rest of social areas orphans and disagrees with professionals in Psychology and the money invested in it will be useless” . Why? According to Lagarejo, “only 20% of suicides go through health resources.” It is not necessary to have a mental illness to decide to take your own life, says this professional.
For this representative of the collegiate body, the autonomous Executive must involve in the Suicide Prevention Plan the educational centers, the departments of Social Affairs, security forces, firefighters, emergency services, community leaders and neighborhood representatives, residences for the elderly or prisons, among many others.
The figures for this type of voluntary death have not varied considerably in the last 15 years, according to the population that exists at any given time. In other words, without implementing specific plans to act against said social problem, it will not be possible to stop. In the European regions and countries in which serious programs against this reality have been established, the suicide figures have been reduced by up to 30%, clarifies Lagarejo. And he repeats that the recipe to start the journey consists of political will, good professionals and adequate budgets. Another pending issue in Spain is the lack of enough psychologists. If the ratio in the European Union is between 40 or 70 per 100,000 inhabitants, in the national territory it does not exceed six.
“As much as we look elsewhere,” he indicates, “this is the leading cause of death among young people between 15 and 29 years old; it kills twice more than traffic accidents and 65 times more than gender-based violence.
This professional clarifies that suicide attempts or completed episodes occur at times when the person suffers “an emotional kidnapping”, which can last a few hours or several days. That is why it is so important that you have the accompaniment of a suitable professional during this period.