Prevention ineffective as suicide numbers increase

  • 2013-05-15
  • From wire reports

VILNIUS - Lithuania has not been paying adequate attention to the problem of widespread suicides in the country as the issue is still understood primitively, reports ELTA. Attention to the problem is basically left for the scope of non-governmental organizations, while the state and institutions do not show responsible action on it.
This point was stressed during a meeting on May 2 between President Dalia Grybauskaite and psychologists and representatives of non-governmental organizations regarding the level of suicides in Lithuania. The participants of the meeting discussed possible measures to resolve the problem quickly and efficiently.

According to the president, the fact that the level of suicides in Lithuania is constantly growing, as increasingly younger people chose death, shows that the attempts to resolve the problem are unsuccessful.
“Lithuania cares about every person. The government has to do everything to find a solution for this problem: there has to be a clear suicide prevention program prepared, involving specific measures and funding. The prevention of suicides has to be targeted, long-term and affordable, but most important of all, people need actual psychological assistance,” Grybauskaite said.

The issue of suicides is a difficult one, but a comprehensive suicide prevention program will soon be prepared, promised Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius, adding that that so far prevention has not been effective. The PM admitted that the issue of suicides has been unresolved in Lithuania for 23 years now.
“The issue is not that easy to resolve quickly,” Butkevicius said on national radio on May 7. He said that the Strategic Committee will soon hold a sitting on it, discussing it with psychologists.

“We have to understand that there has to be a comprehensive program developed. But it should not just be laid down in papers but, as I put it, the Ministry of Science and Education has to be involved too, not only leaving the problem to the Ministry of Health,” he said.

Butkevicius suggests starting an awareness raising campaign from the kindergarten upwords.