Suicide rate down in Lithuania in 2017 y/y, more people see psychologists
The suicide rate in Lithuania is on a consistent decline, with a triple increase reported in the number of visits to psychologists in state clinics over the past few years.
According to data provided by the Institute of Hygiene, 749 people committed suicide in Lithuania last year, down from 823 in 2016, 891 in 2015, 935 in 2014 and 1,085 in 2013.
The suicide rate has also declined over the past few years from 30.41 suicides per population of 100,000 in 2015 to 28.3 in 2016 and 26 last year.
Mykolas Majauskas, conservative MP who heads the parliamentary Suicide and Violence Prevention Commission, said that the gradual decline in the suicide rate should not be celebrated, as the overall number of people taking their own lives remains rather high, which highlights the problems in the mental health system.
The MP noted a consistent increase in the number of people visiting psychologists in state-owned clinics.
According to data provided by the State Patients' Fund, the number of visits to medical psychologists in clinics has increased by a factor of three over the past three years – from 20,959 in 2014 to 65,000 last year.
The Lithuanian health strategy envisages a goal to reduce the Lithuanian suicide rate to the European Union (EU) average by 2025, which is 11 suicides per 100,000 residents. Lithuania's suicide rage remains the highest among the 28 members of the bloc.