Suicide numbers way down in Denmark – The Post

Suicide numbers way down in Denmark

Thanks to more accessible help, fewer Danes, men in particular, are taking their own lives

The most dangerous sleeping pills are no longer available on the Danish market (photo: iStock)
January 31st, 2017 1:26 pm| by Lucie Rychla
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The number of Danes who take their own lives has significantly decreased over the past 20 years, according to figures from the national register of causes of death, Dødsårsagsregisteret.

In 1995, a total of 924 Danes committed suicide, a figure that fell to 584 in 2015.

Merete Toft, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Copenhagen, explained to DR Nyheder that some of the most dangerous sleeping pills and toxic household gases, which were used by suicidal people in the past, are no longer available.

Moreover, Danes struggling with thoughts of suicide now have the possibility to seek help at suicide prevention centres located across the country or to anonymously call the suicide prevention hotline, where experts readily provide advice.

READ MORE: Danish gays and lesbians consider suicide more often than heterosexuals

Fewer men take their lives
Men continue to lead the sad statistic, but much fewer of them choose to end their live prematurely than in the past.

In 1995, some 625 Danish men committed suicide, a figure that has declined to 404 two decades later.

“Men are a major challenge,” Jeppe Kristen Toft, the head of the suicide hotline, told DR.

“They act impulsively, so if we want them to turn to us, we must be visible where they can see our services.”

Some 299 women committed suicide in 1995, while only 180 took their own lives in 2015.