Unseen Crises: An Exploration of the Top 10 Countries with the Highest Suicide Rates

June 27, 2023 | 

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Joanna Newman

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Introduction


Life, as we know it, can be filled with many complexities and challenges. Every individual goes through an array of emotions throughout their journey, with some periods being harder than others. Unfortunately, for some, the burden becomes too heavy to bear, leading to drastic and tragic actions such as suicide.

In this article, we are going to explore the top 10 countries with the highest suicide rates, the percentage, and the potential reasons behind these concerning statistics. Let´s remember to approach this subject with sensitivity and respect as we delve into this heavy topic.

1. Guyana


In the top position in Guyana, with a suicide rate of 44.2 per 100,000 people. A major contributor to this alarming rate is the high prevalence of poverty and the lack of adequate mental health services. Additionally, the widespread use of dangerous pesticides in this agriculture-driven economy contributes to the ease with which individuals can end their own lives.

2. Russia


Following Guyana is Russia, with a suicide rate of 38.3 per 100,000 people. The reasons behind such high suicide rates in Russia are multifaceted, including economic instability, high rates of alcoholism, and a significant lack of mental health resources. The long, dark winters are also believed to contribute to increased rates of depression and, in turn, suicide.

3. Lithuania


Lithuania ranks third on the list, with a suicide rate of 32.9 per 100,000 people. The country has a high consumption of alcohol, which is often linked to high suicide rates. Additionally, there is also a strong cultural stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues, which can prevent people from accessing the help they need.

4. Suriname


Fourth, we have Suriname, a small South American country, with a suicide rate of 32.3 per 100,000 people. The high rate of suicide in Suriname can be attributed to numerous factors such as socioeconomic instability, high rates of domestic violence, and inadequate mental health services.

5. Ivory Coast


In the fifth position, we have the Ivory Coast with a suicide rate of 31.0 per 100,000 people. This West African nation has been affected by political instability and civil war, both of which have had devastating effects on the mental health of its inhabitants. Also, the lack of effective mental health support systems contributes to the high suicide rate.

6. Latvia


Latvia, with a suicide rate of 30.9 per 100,000 people, occupies the sixth position. Economic instability, high alcohol consumption, and a lack of mental health resources are among the reasons behind this rate. There is also a cultural stigma attached to mental health issues, deterring individuals from seeking help.

7. Estonia


Seventh on the list is Estonia, with a suicide rate of 28.8 per 100,000 people. Like its Baltic neighbors, Latvia and Lithuania, the causes are complex, including economic challenges, high alcohol consumption, long and gloomy winters, and an insufficient mental health support system.

8. Belarus


Belarus is eighth on the list with a suicide rate of 26.2 per 100,000 people. Economic hardships, political instability, high alcohol consumption, and lack of mental health services contribute to this alarming statistic. The cultural stigma around mental health also prevents individuals from seeking help.

9. Kazakhstan


In ninth place is Kazakhstan, with a suicide rate of 25.6 per 100,000 people. Several factors contribute to the high suicide rate in Kazakhstan, including a struggling economy, high rates of alcoholism, and insufficient mental health services. The suicide rate is particularly high among the younger population.

10. Ukraine


Rounding off the list in tenth place is Ukraine, with a suicide rate of 22.4 per 100,000 people. The high suicide rate can be attributed to economic instability, the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine, high levels of alcoholism, and a lack of accessible and effective mental health services.

Conclusion


From our journey through these countries, it is evident that a multitude of intertwined factors contributes to high suicide rates. Economic instability, political unrest, high alcohol consumption, insufficient mental health services, and cultural stigmas around mental health emerge as common contributors.

It is crucial to approach the subject of suicide with compassion and understanding, acknowledging the myriad of reasons people might feel driven to such a desperate act. Efforts should be focused on addressing these issues, including investing in mental health services, eradicating stigmas around mental health, and implementing comprehensive suicide prevention strategies.

This article is a somber reminder of the internal struggles many people face worldwide. Let´s be gentle and kind to each other because we never know what someone might be going through. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please seek help immediately. Remember, it´s okay to ask for help, and you´re not alone in this.