Statistics show that suicide rates in the Czech Republic have been increasing, particularly among younger age groups. In 2022, 1,302 people took their own lives, an increase from previous years when the numbers were decreasing. According to experts, this rise is a combination of factors such as unemployment, inflation, the availability of mental health services, societal climate, and the quality of personal relationships.
While the causes of suicide are complex and varied, it is essential to understand that suicide often results from a combination of factors. According to Alexandr Kasal from the National Institute of Mental Health (NÚDZ), “It is important to realize that suicide is usually not caused by a single factor, but rather by their combination.”
Suicide rates have increased by 6.5% compared to previous years, with the highest number of suicides occurring in the age group of 45 to 49, where 148 people died due to suicide. In the age groups of 40 to 44, 55 to 58, and 65 to 69, more than 100 people died from suicide.
The long-term effects of the pandemic on mental health and the economy have worsened the situation. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates up to fifteen suicide attempts for every completed suicide. In the Czech Republic, over 3,000 people are hospitalized annually due to intentional self-harm, with the most common cases involving teenagers and young adults.
To combat this issue, experts are expanding information and resources on websites such as sebevrazdy.cz, which offers a chat advisory service from Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The National Institute of Mental Health also focuses on activities that fight against prejudice and offer relevant information and practical help.
To raise awareness and offer support, the National Institute of Mental Health, in collaboration with the organization Cesta domů, has organized a discussion and procession for survivors of suicide on September 12, 2023, at 5 p.m. in the Prague Bio Oko. This year’s theme for World Suicide Prevention Day, which falls on September 10, is “Creating Hope Through Action.”