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Medical guidelines to prevent suicide risk published
Published : 10 Jan 2020, 20:42
Finnish medical practitioners on Thursday got nationwide guidelines for suicide-related care.
The guidelines, introduced at a press conference in Helsinki, cover treatment of survivors of suicide attempts and suicide preventive work.
The guidelines were published in a series of Applicable Care produced by the Finnish Medical Society Duodecim, Finland's largest scientific association.
The guidelines help improve the abilities of public health to identify the risks of suicide, and provide some rules for assessing a survivor of a suicide attempt.
The guidelines also define the roles of various health care providers. For adults, a psychiatrist or even a general practitioner could estimate the need for treatment in this respect, but the appraisal of young people must always be done in the specialized level care services.
Survivors of suicide attempts will be given a personal security plan to prevent further risk, according to the guidelines.
The guidelines are not binding, but they are produced with government financing and associated with an upcoming national mental health strategy to be published soon.
Sami Pirkola, professor of social psychiatry at Tampere University, who chaired the working group for the guidelines, told media that actual incidents cannot be predicted. However, a low socioeconomic status and long-term unemployment increase the risk of suicide for a person.
Pirkola noted that some medications used for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia can increase the risk. The guidelines recommend some pharmaceutical products as safer in this respect.
Finland used to be near the top of international suicide ratings, but the during the last 30 years the numbers have halved. In 2018, the last year with statistics, 810 people took their lives.