Suicide in Lithuania
Suicide in Lithuania has become a significant social issue in the country due to its high rate. Despite constantly decreasing since its peak in 1995, the suicide rate in Lithuania remains the highest in the EU and the OECD. The suicide rate as of 2017 is 26.4 suicides per 100,000 people.
Social and financial problems in Lithuania are thought to be important factors behind the high rate of suicides. According to Onutė Davidonienė, director of the State Mental Health Center, a major reason behind the dramatic rise in suicides over the last decade is the economic and social transition. This can be linked to the Russian economic crisis of 1998 which was prolonging the phenomenon in Lithuania.
The suicide rates differ significantly between certain municipalities. The suicide rate in Kupiškis district municipality (over 70 out of 100,000 people) is more than two times higher than the national average as of 2017. Other municipalities with particularly high suicide rates are Varėna district municipality and Kalvarija Municipality (67 out of 100,000 people). In contrast, the numbers were the most modest in Palanga City Municipality (less than 15 out of 100,000 people), followed by Vilnius City Municipality and Plungė district municipality (15 out of 100,000 people respectively).
According to a web page on world health ratings, in 2014 almost 29 out of 100,000 people in Lithuania committed suicide. In contrast, according to a report of the World Health Organization, in 1995 this number peaked at almost 46 out of 100,000.
|Suicide rates (per 100,000), by gender, Lithuania, 1981–2009|
|Number of suicides by age group and gender. Lithuania, 2009|
Notable people who died by suicide in Lithuania
- 1822 Theodor Grotthuss, German, chemist
- 1943 Yitzhak Wittenberg, Jewish resistance fighter, swallowing poison
- 1972 Romas Kalanta, self-immolation protesting the Soviet regime in Lithuania
- 1989 Vytautas Vičiulis, painter, set himself ablaze
- 2006 Saulius Mykolaitis, director, actor, suicide by hanging
- 2013 Vytautas Šapranauskas, actor, comedian and TV presenter, suicide by hanging
- "Lithuania's Suicide Epidemic". Insight News TV. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- "Why Lithuanian Suicide Rates are the Highest in Europe (still)". ilovelithuania.com. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- "GHO | By category | Suicide rate estimates, age-standardized - Estimates by country". WHO. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
- "Lithuania still suicide capital". Baltic Times. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- "Suicide rates (per 100,000), by gender, Lithuania, 1981-2009" (PDF). World Health Organization. Retrieved 3 December 2012.