Data On Suicide Attempts Misleading - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Data On Suicide Attempts Misleading

Published November 5, 2012

Although new data seems to indicate that there have been an increase in suicide attempts, this is not reflected in the number of actual suicides.
Vísir reports that in 2010, about 500 people were admitted to the emergency room after attempting to commit suicide. In 2007, there were 120.
This incredible increase in suicide attempts is not, however, reflected in the number of suicides. About 30 to 35 people commit suicide in Iceland every year, and that figure has been more or less the same for at least the past decade.
Páll Matthíasson, the director of the mental health department of the National Hospital, says that the most likely explanation for the “rise” was poor data collection in 2007. If the number of attempts rise, the number of successful suicides should also rise, which has not been the case.
Páll also said that when they looked at the data more carefully, they did notice a “slight increase” in suicide attempt intakes at the emergency room in the week following the economic collapse. This did not, however, influence the number of suicides overall.

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