Suicide index reduction in Slovenia: the impact of primary care provision

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Abstract:

Background: Education of primary care providers about diagnosis and treatment of depression and anxiety is an evidence-based suicide prevention measure.

Aim: To analyse suicide index, mental health epidemiological data and primary care provision in Slovenian regions and to identify examples of good suicide prevention practices in different Slovenian regions.

Methods: Analysis of existent epidemiological data on mental health in Slovenia.

Results: Anxiety and depression are the most common complaints in a representative sample of the Slovene population. The number of suicides in Slovenia had been dropping in the period from 2002 to 2006 and was again slowly rising in 2008. The number of visits to family physicians' practices because of mental health problems is low in comparison to other European countries, which might be attributed also to the high workload of family physicians. Suicide prevention programmes follow the example of the Suicide Prevention Project in the central–east region of Slovenia. This programme is based on education of primary care providers and the general public about recognition and treatment of depression in line with international guidelines.

Conclusions: The differentiation of causes for suicide reduction needs further research, as well as urgent improvement in the accessibility of primary care teams in Slovenia. Keywords : family physicians, Slovenia, suicide prevention

Keywords: FAMILY PHYSICIANS; SLOVENIA; SUICIDE PREVENTION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Specialist, Public Health, nstitute of Public Health, Celje, Slovenia 2: Specialist, Social Medicine and Head of Department of Social Medicine and Health Promotion, Institute of Public Health, Celje, Slovenia 3: Psychiatrist, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine, Psychiatric Hospital Ormoz, Ormoz, Slovenia

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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