The Valencian health account from May 2017 with a plan for suicide prevention to reduce in four years 10% cases in Valencia, in 2016 the latest available data amounted to 336. This is a model implantado by the then counselor and today Minister of Health, Carmen Monton, which inspires the national prevention strategy that prepares the ministry of the branch and has already yielded its first results.
If a hundred suicidal behaviors per month were detected before the program, now triple, about 350, are identified, says the counseling. Until the implementation of the plan, an average of 1,000-1,200 suicidal behaviors was detected every year, which resulted in about 100 cases per month. Now, an average of 350 suicidal behaviors per month about 4,000 a year are identified, which allows evaluating and referring cases to mental health departments.
Of the total, in 25% of cases the suicide code is activated, one of the measures that were created to respond quickly to people at greater risk of committing suicide: elderly, mentally ill, victims of gender-based violence, people homeless … Specifically, data from the past few months indicate 367 diagnoses related to suicide in May, 374 in June, 367 in July and 383 in August.
José Antonio Cócera, the technician of the Office of Mental Health of the Generalitat, gives an example: “A person who arrives at the primary care consultation who does not explicitly express suicidal behavior but expresses that his life is meaningless Starting from that and other alarm signals the tools are activated and further studies are made ”.
In addition to the detection and assessment of risk – where factors such as alcohol consumption, mental illness or chronic diseases influence -, the suicide code provides for attention before 72 hours and telephone follow-up from the Mental Health Units of each department (one month, three months, six months and one year of the consultation), to check the patient’s situation.
One of the priority objectives is to reduce suicide rates by 10%, which in the Valencian Community is 6.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, although the rate is already below the average of Spain (7.68 per 100,000), and the European Union, with about 12 per 100,000. Health now detects an average of 350 suicidal behaviors per month compared to 100 a year ago
Another novelty of the plan is the recent constitution as an association in the province of Alicante of the first group of survivors formed by relatives of affected people, who have the support of the Mental Health Service of the General Hospital of Alicante. “The idea is to extend this measure and also that those affected in the provinces of Valencia and Castellón can count on this type of support soon,” said the current Valencian counselor, Ana Barcelo.
The plan also has since May a campaign of awareness and prevention under the slogan Let’s break the silence. Let’s talk about suicide, designed to expose the public health problem that suicides represent and make available to society tools and preventive measures aimed at reducing current rates, explains Health.
In the Valencian Community almost every day a person dies by suicide and every year there are 4,500 people who try to take their lives. The campaign, in which the group of journalists has been involved, launches strong messages about the real situation of suicide in these latitudes: for example, more people die from suicide than from traffic accidents or every day a person dies by suicide. It is intended that suicide is not a taboo subject and talk about it. “Suicide can be prevented and not just a matter of health services,” says Cócera.