News
Rate Of Suicide In Iceland 16 Times Higher Amongst Men

Rate Of Suicide In Iceland 16 Times Higher Amongst Men

Alice Demurtas
Words by
Photos by
Timothée Lambrecq

Published June 4, 2018

The Icelandic Directorate of Health has recently issued a new report analysing the rate of suicide across the entire country in 2017, finding particularly striking differences amongst sexes.

32 Icelandic men committed suicide in Iceland last year, against only 2 Icelandic women and six foreigners of undisclosed gender, for a total of 40 individuals. In addition, the report registered a surprisingly high rate of suicides in the Westfjörds of Iceland.

According to psychiatrist Óttar Guðmundsson, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons behind these numbers. “It just looks like men are feeling much worse than women,” he told Kjarninn in an interview.

Óttar draws connections with the rates of alcoholism, insisting that when men are in grave psychological conditions they can have a much more aggressive reaction than women do. They also tend to drink more and get much more drunk, increasingly sinking into more severe depression.

Another crucial difference lies in the approach to self expression. Even though various social media campaigns have been encouraging men to speak up in order to fight an often toxic culture of machismo, men are still much less likely to talk about their own feelings than women do. 

That is not to say that women are immune to depression. According to Óttar, in fact, women are much more likely to engage in suicide attempts or self-harm as a cry for help than men are.

Landspítalinn hospital

The Directorate’s report also registered an unusually high rate of suicides in the far Westfjörds of Iceland last year, where most of Iceland’s suicides were completed. The South Coast, however, has the most suicides per capita in the same year.

It’s hard to draw any conclusions from this data, says Óttar, but what we can do is use the numbers to implement a prevention system that targets the groups at risk. “It’s really important for us to know what we have at hand,” he explains. “We cannot use preventive measures unless we know where to direct them.”


News
Artist Commandeers Church, Hilarity Ensues

Artist Commandeers Church, Hilarity Ensues

by

Snorri Ásmundsson, artist and enfant terrible against the Icelandic establishment, held a performance piece last week on the tiny north

News
Iceland’s Fishing Minister: No Plans For “All-Seeing Eye” Within Government

Iceland’s Fishing Minister: No Plans For “All-Seeing Eye” Within Government

by

A proposed drone surveillance plan for Iceland’s fishing fleet has provoked a strong response from the Confederation of Iceland Enterprise

News
Many One-Lane Bridges In Iceland Fall Short On Safety & Weight Tolerance

Many One-Lane Bridges In Iceland Fall Short On Safety & Weight Tolerance

by

There are still many one-lane bridges in Iceland that do not meet established requirements for safety and weight tolerance. There

News
Asylum Applications Decrease, While Iraqi Deportations Increase

Asylum Applications Decrease, While Iraqi Deportations Increase

by

Applications for asylum have decreased by 40% between last year and this one, RÚV reports. However, deportations of Iraqi asylum

News
Iceland’s Fishing And Environmental Ministers Disagree Over Whaling

Iceland’s Fishing And Environmental Ministers Disagree Over Whaling

by

Iceland’s Minister for the Environment, Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson of the Left-Green Party, is not convinced that Iceland’s whaling policies are

News
Reykjavik Primary Schools To Offer Free Student Supplies This Autumn

Reykjavik Primary Schools To Offer Free Student Supplies This Autumn

by

Reykjavík City Council just took another step towards increasing equality for all students, regardless of their family’s income level, RÚV

Show Me More!