The Suicide Prevention Unit of Vigo Area Health has just completed two years, with the highest number of CCCI patients being cared for. The plan was created to reduce suicide rates and reduce self-harm among the population. In Galicia, there is only one unit in Ourense and the Xunta has decided to extend it to all health areas in order to take better care of more serious and complicated cases. Vigo was the second open. He works with a psychiatrist, Cristina Hermoso, a psychologist, José Eduardo Rodríguez, and two mental health nurses, Ana Barreiro and David Meilán.
These patients went to the emergency room or were admitted to a health center or hospital. They now have a unit that has the time and technology to deal with these crises and that provides them with pharmacological treatment, psychotherapy and special nursing care.
Referrals come from three routes, mental health units, emergency services and psychiatric hospitalization, when self-injurious ideas are presented, the idea of committing suicide is sufficiently established or they have made an attempt. They have the capacity to care for between 80 and 90 patients who are covered by the three routes mentioned and who arrive at the unit in less than two weeks. As a result, the initial idea of even opening a fast track with Primary Care was abandoned because he could not take it on. Its success rates are very high and therefore they send the message that it can be treated and the issue is over.
What is a profile? Two-thirds are women and the rest are men. The most common age group is from 15 to 25 years, followed by those between 46 and 55 years. Although there are many types of people, many do not have an active workforce. José Eduardo explains about 70 risk factors, from sociodemographic, having a mental disorder or cognitive factors to the difficulty of managing intense emotions, impulses, social perfectionism and many others. “In all these factors there is a word that we explore, an illness that sometimes feels unbearable or endless and the concept arises. We see the source of the pain and we try to give a hand to everyone from their area of knowledge, to reduce it and to have resources in the event of a crisis, a security plan to know what to do,” he explains. They also value connectivity, which is a hook to enhance life. Both psychologists and psychiatrists confirm that suicide is not the result of a single cause, it is much more complicated, and they confirm that there are warning signs. These signs range from the word that they want to die, the little meaning of life, the withdrawal of precious things, they stop enjoying the things they wanted and they also see many difficulties in sleep, which finally turn difficulties into mountains. The economic crisis and the pandemic have increased mental health problems, including major depression, which is one of the most common causes of suicide. There are a number of factors, from bullying to alcohol consumption that increase the risk of self-harm by 20.
“Good treatment and tolerance is good prohibition.”
“It is good to talk about death with young people, but to do it well, because otherwise it can be dangerous,” they point out. It is regrettable that it has gone from taboo to frivolization. Jose Eduardo Rodríguez identifies some keys. “Deadly pain cannot be simpler, not because your boyfriend left you because 99.9% of those who experience this situation do not take their lives. There is something else. Secondly, it is important to talk with them about the suffering it causes, which is not glorified or glorified, because the pain that is caused in our relatives is terrible, we work with some parents and we see it. And another important thing is not to talk about destructive ways, not to give ideas, and to do to see what can be prevented, to be a help. In addition to this, it emphasizes the values of good care, tolerance and connectedness or integration as good social prevention.
56 people in the region of Vigo in 2021 were aware of their death
A total of 56 people died in the Vigo region in 2021, the latest with records collected by the Institute of Legal Medicine. It is known that for every death there are 20 attempts, so the complaint is greater than the figures say.
In all of Spain, 11 people are aware of death, that is, every two hours a person takes his own life in every national territory and what is worse, the tendency has grown in years and little. The authors consider it a major public health problem. In Spain there were four thousand deaths, according to the last report from 2021, half of the population between the ages of 40 and 64. The highest volume occurs in the summer months, namely June and July, and the month with the lowest incidence is December, although throughout the year.
In this table of suicides, Galicia is among the most serious suicide communities and Lugo stands out the most (15.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), which became the province of Spain with the highest mortality due to suicide, closely followed by Zamora.
On the other hand, the southern Galician provinces, Pontevedra and Ourense, are below the Galician average in destruction (both with 10.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants against the Galician average of 12.2), but still exceed the state percentage.
The Institute of Legal Medicine (Imelga) registered in the latest report a total of 331 suicides in the Autonomous Community: there were 55 in the province of Coruña, 92 in the province of Pontevedra, 52 in Lugo and 32 in Ourense.
According to Imelga, the majority of those who are conscious of death in Gallaecia are between the ages of 60 and 60, who hang themselves in their surroundings.