Alarming increase in number of Dutch teens committing suicide

Candle
Candle. Photo: Bangin / Wikimedia Commons

The number of teenagers committing suicide in the Netherlands is increasing alarmingly. Last year the number teens who died by suicide nearly doubled, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday.

In total 1,917 people committed suicide in the Netherlands last year, 23 more than in 2016. The number of teens between the ages of 10 and 20 that died by suicide increased from 48 in 2016 to 81 last year. 

In the Netherlands relatively few young people between the ages of 10 and 30 years pass away. Last year it was 0.7 percent of the total deaths. In this age group, suicide is the leading cause of death. Over a quarter of the young people who died in the country last year committed suicide. That is well above the proportion that died of cancer (15 percent), traffic accidents (10 percent), or cardiovascular diseases (5 percent). 

Suicide prevention foundation 113 Zelfmoordpreventie called the increase in suicides among teenagers alarming. "That is enormous. We are shocked", spokesperson Judith Heus said to RTL Nieuws. "We've been worried about the number of teenagers thinking about suicide for a long time. What precisely the cause is, we still have to figure out."

Those in the Netherlands who are suffering from depression or contemplating suicide may call counselors at Sensoor, 0900-0767 (5 ct./min.), or call their volunteers . 113 Zelfmoordpreventie is also available 24/7 at number 0900-0133 A list of  outside the Netherlands is available on Wikipedia.

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