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Montevideo, November 29th 2022 - 01:34 UTC



Uruguay creates record of suicide attempts to monitor patients

Tuesday, September 13th 2022 - 19:55 UTC
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Uruguay was reported in July to have the worst suicide rate in the region Uruguay was reported in July to have the worst suicide rate in the region

Uruguay's Health Ministry authorities have announced the creation of a suicide attempt registry whereby all those who unsuccessfully try to take their own life will be monitored to avoid a recurrent event.

The decision comes after awareness of the problem of mental health is growing worldwide following the campaign launched by the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO): “The 10th of September each year focuses attention on the issue, reduces stigma and raises awareness among organizations, government, and the public, giving a singular message that suicide can be prevented,” the WHO explained.

Argentina launched last week a toll-free line to offer assistance to people in need of help. The service consists of a protocol that includes first an initial diagnostic interview, then the second stage of intervention and assistance, and finally a closing or follow-up phase. The mental health professionals provide care based on the uniqueness and situation of each person, in addition to supporting and strengthening the existing devices in the different jurisdictions of the country, Argentine authorities explained.

“Creating hope through action” is the triennial theme for World Suicide Prevention Day from 2021-2023, according to the WHO. This motto is a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and aims to inspire confidence and light among people in need of help, the global agency maintains. In the aftermath of COVID-19, the WHO has also warned of a new mental health pandemic after people spent months in isolation.

Uruguay's Health Ministry plans to install applications in all emergency room doors nationwide to keep track of people who tried to self-harm and thus follow them up, for which registration will be mandatory for this type of patient.

Health Undersecretary José Luis Satdjian argued that there was an underreporting of these cases, plus most of them are recorded on paper. Satdjian explained that with the new mechanism, all medical emergency units would provide the Ministry with that kind of information which would become available for other centers should patients be admitted at a different facility.

”A person who makes a suicide attempt is a person who issued a warning,” Satdjian stressed. In addition, all calls received by the State's Health Services Administration (ASSE) Life Line (0800-0767) will be reported to the patient's health care providers.

“We are working with ASSE so that the person can then be followed up by the health care provider,” said Satdjian, who also admitted this type of patient often prefers to call anonymously.

Uruguay's MSP reported last week that 349 people had taken their own lives in the first semester of 2022, 25% more than a year ago. “It is confirmed that the trend continues in our country, as in the last 30 years, attempts at self-harm and suicides have been on the rise,” Satdjian said regretfully.

In 2021, 758 people took their own lives in Uruguay, according to MSP preliminary data.

Last week, a person in Spain was handed down a ten-year jail sentence for encouraging a teenager through Whatsapp to commit suicide.

The sentence in Spain fixes compensation for a total of 173,000 euros in favor of the parents and brother of the deceased for moral damages.

A court in Spain sentenced last week a 60-year-old man to ten years in prison for manslaughter after pushing a minor, whom he had met on the Internet, to commit suicide.

“The accused contacted on December 1, 2016, through the WhatsApp application, the victim, then 17 years old, and sent him more than 119 messages with intimidating and threatening content in less than three hours.” the Superior Court of Justice of Valencia announced.

The defendant continued to send messages, even after the boy jumped into the inner courtyard of his home building and died on the spot.


Categories: Health & Science, Uruguay.
Tags: suicide.

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