Suicides among children under 15 years of age increased 57% in Spain last year

It has been like a pitcher of cold water: the suicides in children under 15 years of age Spain increased by 57%. in 2021 over the previous year, a percentage that reflects the impact the mental health pandemic is having among children. Last year, the following took their own lives 22 children under 15 years of age, vs. 14 in 2020. The National Institute of Statistics (INE) has published this Monday its annual report ‘Death statistics according to cause of death. Year 2021’. Last year, Spain exceeded lhe barrier of 4,000 suicides annuallys in the general population: in 2021, 4,000 people took their own lives. 4,003 Spaniards of all ages, a 1.6% more than in 2020. At Catalonia suicide increased 3.6%, more than double the Spanish average: 576 people took their own lives, 20 more than 2020 (556).

Suicide is the first external cause of mortality in Spain. In 2021, according to data published by the INE, an average of 11 people per day died by suicide, 75% of them men (2,982) and 25% women (1,021). Men commit suicide more often, despite the fact that women make more attempts. 2021 becomes the year with the most suicides recorded in the history of Spain. since data are available (year 1906).

These were expected figures, but what the experts did not foresee was. such an increase in the number of suicides in children under 15 years of age, something that obliges us, more than ever, to put the mental health at the center of health, educational and social policies. Spain, complain the experts, still does not have a state suicide prevention plan.

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In 2021, the following took their own lives 22 minors from all over Spaincompared to 14 in 2020, an increase of 57%. “I did not expect these data. It’s shocking.” he tells this newspaper Francisco Villar, clinical psychologist and coordinator of the program of attention to suicidal behavior at the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu (Esplugues de Llobregat). “We know that minors who start with suicidal attempts increase in severity and end up dying after the age of 18. But now we see that start earlier [a suicidarse]as is the case with eating disorders (ED),” says Villar.

Suicide continues to be is the leading cause of unnatural death in Spain, multiplying by 2.5 those caused by by the traffic accidents (1,599 in 2021), for 14 the homicides (283) or by 93 those caused by the gender violence (43).

Between the ages of 15 and 29, suicide is the most common leading absolute cause of death. It causes 316 deaths annually compared to 299 for traffic accidents or 295 for tumors. 999 people over 70 years of age took their own lives in 2021.

Other deaths

According to the INE report, there were 16,831 in 2021. deaths due to external causes753 more than in the previous year (4.7%). By sex, the report shows that 10,689 men died from these causes (4.2% more than in 2020) and 6,142 women (5.5% more).

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However, suicide remained the leading cause of external deaths, ahead of accidental falls (with 3,655 fatalities and a 1.4% increase) and the accidental drowning, submersion, and suffocation. (with 3,504, up 20.3 percent from 2020).

By sex, the leading causes of death in the. men were suicide (2,982 deaths and an increase of 1.8% over 2020), accidental falls (1,946, up 2.5%) and the drowning, submersion and suffocation. (1,855, up 26.4%).

Likewise, the accidental falls (1,709 fatalities), the drowning, submersion and suffocation. (1,649) and suicides (1,021) were the leading causes of external death among women, with increases of 0.1 percent, 14 percent, and 1 percent, respectively. Due to traffic accidents, 1,599 persons died (1,283 males and 316 females), which was 9.3 percent more than in 2020.

In addition, from January to June 2022 there were. 8,829 deaths from external causes, 11.8% more than in the same period of 2021. By sex, 5,541 men (10.7% more) and 3,288 women (13.6% more) died from these causes. Behind them were accidental drowning, submersion and suffocation (with 1,863 deaths and an increase of 20.7%) and accidental falls (with 1,722 deaths, 3.2% less).

Finally, in 2022 by traffic accident 761 people died, which is 3.3% more than in the first half of 2021.

By sex, the main causes of external deaths in the men were the suicide (1,481 fatalities) and drowning, submersion and suffocation (950); and in the women, drowning, submersion and suffocation (913) and accidental falls (775 deaths).

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