Suicide rate in Portugal has become “excessive”, says study

A spike in the number of suicides in Portugal over recent years will see the country fail in its pledge to the World Health Organisation to reduce suicides by 10% by 2020, writes Correio da Manhã – stressing that experts are now demanding a study and ‘continuous programme of prevention’. According to data, the number of deaths due to unknown causes in 2014 was 882, while there were 1,154 suicides.

The figures, considered “excessive”, were revealed in the Portuguese Health Systems Observatory Spring Report for 2016.

They show that the Algarve is the region where most people commit suicide, while the Alentejo is the area where more women kill themselves than men.

The report also alludes to mental illness, saying more money should be channelled into its “true impact”, adding that social inequality when it comes to health prevention is the greatest ‘bug bear’.

Say authors, “policies that tackle social inequality in health” make all the difference. They give examples like the taxes on tobacco, the ban on smoking in public places and sale of fizzy drinks and high-calories snacks in vending machines.

Talking to CM, the report’s coordinator José Aranda da Silva stressed that the poorest people in Portugal tend to be the least healthy and when set against Europe as a whole, Portugal “presents the worst results”.

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