Slovenia was long among the countries with the highest suicide rate in the world
Slovenia was long among the countries with the highest suicide rate in the world. While the figures are still relatively high, the suicide rate has been declining, a trend that NGOs say is at least partially a result of better prevention.
Last year 388 people committed suicide, of which 325 were men and 63 women, the first time since records began four decades ago that the figure dropped below 400, show statistics released ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day, observed today.
The suicide rate was thus 19 per 100,000 inhabitants, which puts Slovenia roughly in the top 20 countries with the highest suicide rate in the world.
But the figure is significantly lower than a decade ago, when 529 people took their lives. Since then it has been gradually declining.
NGOs have been involved in suicide prevention activities for over two decades, offering psychological assistance as well as help lines.
While preventive activities are seen as crucial, a study last year by the National Institute of Public Health failed to show a correlation between the declining suicide rate and prevention.
But Saška Roškar, the head of a suicide prevention project at the institute, nevertheless believes prevention has contributed to reducing the number of people taking their lives.
As different forms of aid have become more widespread, suicide has become destigmatised and people with suicidal thoughts have a circle of people and institutions that they can turn to, Roškar recently said.
The institute joined forces with several NGOs earlier this year and set up a nationwide network of counselling centres, which helped 712 people in just six months reports