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Kupiškis broke the horror: he grabbed his shoulders and halved the number of suicides in the area


In April 2014, a group of experts on the prevention of suicides and specialists from the Kupiškis district carried out the implementation of a model of prevention of suicide based on science and practice in municipal level.

The Kupiškis Suicide Prevention Initiative aims to introduce and develop a model of collaboration between different institutions, which will allow effective and timely assistance to people who intend to kill and commit suicide.

We have learned to respond to human intentions of suicide, how to read signs and evaluate risks.

"In this way, the main objective was to contribute to the prevention of suicide in order to reduce suicide in the Kupiškis district," he said. 15min Valija Šap, coordinator of the Kupiškis suicide prevention initiative, explained.

8 out of 10 refer to intentions

The local community of Kupiškis and a group of mental health professionals and well-known public figures volunteered for a pilot project.

You have trained elderly people, social workers, police officers, and doctors to detect and respond to the risks of suicide. In addition, you have developed a suicide prevention algorithm in Kupiškis, which has helped save many lives.

Picture of a personal album / Shap Selection

Picture of a personal album / Shap Selection

"We have learned to respond to the intentions of suicide of a person, how to read signs and assess the risks," explains Shap.

According to her, 8 out of 10 suicides in one way or another refer to her intentions: one straight line, the other one is elegant.

Let's say a man says he's so upset that he does not want anything. Or is it constantly sad, segregated or angry: "Then, it is necessary to assess other risk factors: if you use alcohol, suicide or depression."

More than 700 people were formed

The psychologist V.Sap said that within five years after the implementation of the initiative, in collaboration with experts and local specialists, the suicide response model was approved and approved by the decision of the municipal council of Kupiškis district.

"It provided and consolidated the procedures to respond to professionals, provide information and ensure the continuity of assistance in the event of suicide and suicide. They have developed separate versions of the model to respond to the threat of suicide in adults and children / adolescents, "said V.Sap.

Photo by Julius Kalinskas / 15min / Kupiškis District Municipality

Photo by Julius Kalinskas / 15min / Kupiškis District Municipality

As of 2014, all residents who offer medical assistance – doctors, police officers, social workers, education, public health, neighborhoods, NGO representatives, community leaders – have been able to participate systematically in training and supervised managers for experts: 129 h training and supervision, with 710 enrolled. "

Already in the first 3 months of application, the number of people requesting psychological assistance increased 3-4 times.

During this time, the aid coordinator registered 276 cases of organization of aid, supply and discussion of problems (usually with specialists), 156 assistance cases, 34 home help.

"In the first three months of implementation, the number of people who asked for psychological assistance increased 3 to 4 times by publishing the initiative," remarked V.Sap and congratulated for the active participation of older people , social workers and community officials.

Psychologist services are not available

V.Sap did not hide that the issue of the availability of psychologist services during the initiative was only resolved by private businesses and the efforts to implement the project. Residents of the city and the Kupiškis district received free 187 individual inquiries, including by phone, consulted psychologists, 1154 consultations were paid by entrepreneur Vladas Lašas, 353 – projects, 142 – from the pockets of the own customers

"These statistics have found the challenges that need to be addressed in order to provide effective assistance to people at risk of suicide," said Shap, who showed three key issues:

  • Inadequate access to the mental health services of the primary personal care center of the Kupiškis district. Here the psychological counseling is only provided one day a week, which is too little;
  • lack of access to the complex support of drug addiction;
  • He emphasized the problem of managing suicide risk for the elderly, which requires more active care and attention for the elderly, improving health care, reducing exclusion.

"Obviously, despite the measures being implemented, the problem of suicide in some neighborhoods remained relevant throughout the implementation period of the initiative. Only a slight reduction in the rates of suicide for Kupiškis and Kupiškis elderships: an average of 6.2 suicides for the year 2014-2018 was recorded for 2014-2018 – 5.4.

Image of woman

Image of woman

However, the decline in the number of smaller presidents is remarkable: Alizava and Skapiškis did not kill any inhabitant in 2016-2018, and during this period, 2 residents of Noriūnai, Subačiaus and Šimoniai elderships. Šimoniai eldership had elevated suicide rates for a year: there were 19 suicides here during 2009-2013, "summed up V.Sap.

He called attention to the fact that in neighborhoods with a smaller population, specialists have the opportunity to visit their residents more often, to notice the difficulties they have and to mediate to solve & # 39; ls and help donors.

He will continue to work in other municipalities

The psychologist was pleased that Kupiškis City Council managed to get close to the average suicide rate in the country.

For example, in 2016, 100 thousand. In Lithuania there were 28.7 suicides in Lithuania and 55.7 of suicides in the municipality of the Kupiškis district. At that time, in 2018, the numbers were 24.4 and 23.6 respectively.

Therefore, the work group on the implementation of the Suicide Prevention initiative in the Kupiškis district made the decision to terminate the work and V.Sap submitted a request to the Kupiškis Municipal Council as of 2019. July 1 withdraw it from the Suicide Risk Response Coordinator.

Photo of Life Press / Silhouette female

Photo of Life Press / Silhouette female

"It was recommended that the council appoint another coordinator and consider the possibility for the municipality to take over the continuity of the prevention of suicide and expressed our willingness to cooperate in the continuation of the prevention of suicide in the area. We are glad that the board is prepared to continue the work and, with the new coordinator, we are prepared to help you in case of need, "said V.Sap.

He noted that the Kupiškis suicide prevention initiative developed a model to respond to the risk of suicide and implemented it in almost half of the municipalities of the country: Zarasai, Anykščiai, Pasvalys, Raseiniai, Kelmė, Ukmergė, Kaišiadorys, Vilkaviškis, Akmene , Kaunas and Vilnius. .

We look every better year

The number of suicides in Lithuania has declined steadily and the number of visits to psychologists has increased threefold over the years.

According to data from the Institute of Hygiene, 682 people committed suicide last year, in 2017 – 749 people, in 2016 – 823 people, in 2015 – 891 people, in 2014 – 935 people . At that time, more than 1,108 people live in 2013.

The relative number of suicides also decreases – the suicide rate in Lithuania in 2015 reached 30.41 cases per 100 thousand. In 2016 it was 28.3 cases per 100 thousand. In 2017, this indicator was reduced to about 26 cases per 100 thousand. The past year was 24.4 cases per 100 thousand. population

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