Suicide in Poland

On the Rise

On the Rise

In Poland, about 300 people aged 16-19 commit suicide every year. Psychiatrist Dr. Paweł Kropiwnicki presented the data at a conference in Łódź entitled “Education for Self-reliance” devoted to teachers and educators. According to Dr. Kropiwnicki (of the Medical University of Łódź), the causes of suicide amongst young people are mainly family and school problems, mental illness and substance use. Depression, which might eventually lead to suicide, can often be seen through changes in a teenager’s behaviour, such as giving away personal belongings, a change in the type of music they listen to, or a loss of contact with their environment. Dr. Kropiwnicki pointed out that educational programmes on suicide for young people go virtually unnoticed by their target audience. In Poland, there is still no national programme for the prevention of suicide. An example of effective prevention, according to the psychiatrist, is a programme which runs in several European countries called Saving Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE). It is an educational programme for teachers, educators, priests, and people running after-school activities. Unfortunately it was not implemented in Poland. This is compounded with a lack of availability of medical services, which could prevent the hospitalisation of many teenagers.

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