The strange thing is not to have an acquaintance or a friend, even a relative, who one day, sometimes without any previous signs, decides to take his or her own life. A death that in the vast majority of cases would have been preventable with help.
Behind every suicide there is a story of emotional pain and a family and friends of survivors who will suffer a very difficult mourning for the loss of their loved one.
How serious is the situation in Spain, a country in which 11 people take their own lives every day?
Check them out with our team of fixer in Spain.
Leading cause of unnatural death in Spain
Suicides continue to increase in Spain: 4,003 in 2021. This is 1.6% more than in 2020. And the data have skyrocketed this same year. From January to June 2022, 2,015 people have taken their own lives. It is 5% more than in the same half of 2021.
Record figures that reveal the serious problem with mental health disorders that have worsened after the pandemic. Death by suicide has been the leading cause of unnatural death in Spain since 2008, thirteen years. It is second in young people between 15 and 29 years of age. And it continues to outnumber traffic accidents, accidental falls and drowning.
According to data from the Mental Headway 2023 report, Spain (together with Bulgaria) is the two countries in Europe with the fewest Mental Health professionals, if we add psychiatrists, child psychiatrists, psychologists and specialised nurses: 25 per 100,000 inhabitants, far behind Sweden, which has 150 and Finland with 200. Moreover, Spain spends only 5.16% of its health investment in Mental Health, half of Germany, France or Sweden, which invest 10%.
The seriousness of the proportions that this phenomenon has taken on led the Ministry of Health to set up a national 24-hour suicide hotline seven months ago. In its first half year of operation, it received 50,000 calls, some 330 a day, and has helped to stop some 800 suicides in progress.
The implementation of Line 024 is part of the Mental Health Action Plan 2022-2024 approved by the Interterritorial Council of the NHS on 11 May, which has a budget of 100 million euros.