A civil organization combating suicide in Hungary

In Hungary there are 6 people a day dying because of suicide. The yearly suicide death rate is apr. 2300-2400 people. The number of deaths per 100.000 inhabitants is one of the highest in the world, even though this number has decreased nearly by 50% in last two decades. In the OECD countries there are higher numbers only in South-Korea and Japan.  In Europe the situation is worse than in Hungary in Belorussia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, and Ukraine.

 

There are no efforts and programs for suicide prevention inHungaryfrom governmental side. The survivors (relatives and colleagues of the victim) don’t get any mental support and help from the national health care system after the suicidal event, but the risk of committing suicide with a family history of suicide compared to the control group is 26 times higher.  Our foundation’s aim is to provide such a help in the future.

 

In the overpolitized cultural milieu Hungarian society cannot and is not able to face to the really important question of suicide, but there are plenty of things that can be done. The daily rate could be decreased by 2 deaths.

Our civil foundation, Lelekben Otthon (Home inside our soul) grounded on scientific basis, has been working to prevent and to decrease suicide rate inHungary. We have a very close relationship with the Choose Life program inScotland, the SPES organization inSweden, with Sapienza University Rome inItaly, and local organizations in several countries (France,Ireland,Japan,South Korea). We naturally also work in co-operation with the Hungarian Psychiatric Association and local associations.

 

Our foundation concentrates on the following issues:

 

–          Helping the survivors. 50 volunteers offer help to both family members and workgroup peers. We have a telephone line where volunteers are available. + 36-20-464-8005. The volunteer meets each client 2-3 times in order to facilitate the mourning process.

–          Offering help to the police and paramedic staff. These professionals have limited leverage to offer help to family members or to take care of themselves. We offer them a leaflet with self-instructions and self-help guidance. This leaflet is already translated into English and Japanese languages. Some parts of these leaflets are already in use in these countries.

–          We have founded a prize. This prize will be granted to the person who has saved most people from committing suicide in a year. (A help line activist, a paramedical worker or a fireman). The prize will be given every year on the 10th of September (Suicide Prevention Day) This prize may help to approach the problem from a new aspect: Suicide is avoidable and does not necessarily have to take place.

–          InHungary, both electric and printed media tend to communicate suicide in a dangerous way. The danger is that our citizens, being ill, or thinking of suicide, can get a drive or an idea and example from the reported suicide cases. We developed a media guide for the protection of people at risk.

 

–          One of the most painful deaths is the suicide of young people. The tragedy affects not only the direct relatives, but also the broader environment of the victim the society (teachers, pediatricians, classmates). The suicide of young people has been increasing in many countries ofEuropeand in the World in the last two- three years.  What can we do? Suicide is a complex question.

 

We organize a multiprofessional conference in October for parents, GPs, teachers, church professional, ambulance, police people; and everybody affected by this topic who wants to do something. The conference will have different sections, and the most prestigious European professionals will be delivering lectures.  The conference is supported by the Scottish Choose Life program and the French Institute ofBudapest. The conference is on the official list of the Word Psychiatric Association’s official programs. Everybody who wants to participate as a lecturer or as audience is welcome to our conference.

 

We would be grateful if you could help us by informing the public about this unique conference. The title of the conference is: Suicide Prevention for Young People: Possibilities and Challenges 19-21 October 2012. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Conference-for-the-Prevention-of-Youth-Suicide/390868624276232

 

Some of the lectures:

 

Alana Atkinson (Scotland): Good practice guide on Supporting People Bereaved by Suicide aimed at First & Second Responders and their employing organizations

 

Choose Life (Scotland) : Good practice guide on Suicide Prevention in Rural Areas

 

Ella Arensman (Ireland): E-mental health and guided internet-based self-management interventions for young people with mild to moderate depression.

 

Maurizio Pompili (Italy): “Suicide in children and adolescents: longitudinal comparison with other causes and preventive measures”

 

Philipe Courtet (France): Suicidal behaviour in mood disorders and their treatment”.

 

The Hungarian government does not support our work in anyway. There are not any tenders inHungaryfor suicide prevention.  Our foundation couldn’t win any tender called by the Governmental sector in the past two years.

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