Sharp increase in suicide among young adults last year
Those in the Netherlands in life threatening danger should immediately dial 112 for emergency services. Anyone suffering from depression or contemplating suicide may call 113 Zelfmoordpreventie at any time by dialing either 113 or 0800-0113. Counselors at De Luisterlijn may also be reached at 088-0767000, or volunteers may be reached at one of their local numbers. A list of suicide crisis hotlines outside the Netherlands is available on Wikipedia.
The number of young people up to age 30 who took their own lives was 15 percent higher last year than 2020. The increase was most visible among young people between the ages of 20 and 30, NOS reported based on figures from the Current Dutch Suicide Registration Committee (CANS).
The total number of suicides has been stable at around 1,800 for years. "But it increased among young people last year," Renske Gilissen, lead researcher at 113 Suicide Prevention and chairman of CANS, said to the broadcaster. Last year there were over 300 suicides in the 30 or younger age group. "An increase of 15 percent. Especially between the ages of 20 and 30, and often men."
Gilissen cannot say whether the coronavirus measures contributed to the increase. "We do not know the exact cause. We know that it is rarely a single cause but an accumulation of factors. The measures may have been the last straw. A future perspective and discovering the world is very important in that age group. Those are things that are jeopardized by the measures."
According to Gilissen, there is still a lot of reluctance to talk about suicide. Removing the shame around this subject can help reduce the number of suicides, she said. "Watch out for each other, and ask if someone is thinking about death. Especially in this time, it is important that we look out for each other."