“We live in the happiest region in the world, and yet young people commit suicide and vulnerable people find life difficult. The Nordic Council Welfare Committee wants to do something about the number of people who take their own lives,” the chair of the committee, Bente Stein Mathisen, said after it met in Copenhagen today.
We must learn from each other in the field of health and social care
Specifically, the Committee wants the Nordic countries to come together later this year and share knowledge and information on these issues, including what youth centres have learned. In general, it will:
- strive to reduce the suicide rate in the Nordic countries by 25% by 2025
- strive to prevent all suicide by train by 2025
- strive to prevent all suicide by certain vulnerable groups.
The point about learning from each other is one of the cornerstones of Nordic co-operation. It is also one the main points in the report Knowledge that works in practice, which was commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers and written by Árni Páll Árnason, a former Icelandic Minister for Social Affairs. The Nordic Welfare Committee has based some of its efforts to target and prioritise its work on health and social care on the report.
We live in the happiest region in the world, and yet young people commit suicide, and other vulnerable people find life difficult. The Nordic Council Welfare Committee wants to do something about the number of people who take their own lives.
Multiple causes – multiple target groups
Every day, ten people commit suicide in the Nordic region. In Norway, six times as many people commit suicide as die in traffic. Every suicide has its own story but roughly speaking they can be grouped into unhappy young people, people with mental health issues, lonely old people, individuals who are grieving and addicts. The fact that the causes are so different makes prevention difficult, and so the Welfare Committee has decided to focus on people with health and social problems.
A socially sustainable Nordic Region
The work to prevent suicide will contribute to the Vision 2030 goal of a socially sustainable Nordic region: together, we will promote an inclusive, equal and interconnected region with shared values, more cultural exchanges and welfare.