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Adolescent Suicide and Suicide Prevention Programs: A Comparison Between Lithuania and Flanders

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Objectives: The total number of suicides in Flanders, Belgium, and Lithuania is higher than the European Union (EU) average. This paper compares suicide rates among adolescents in Flanders and Lithuania and discusses trends and public policy initiatives for prevention.

Methods: Using Pub Med and other databases we compared suicide rates among adolescents in Flanders, Belgium and Lithuania and identified interventional initiatives and evidence for their effectiveness in each country.

Results: The statistics for adolescents aged between 15 and 19 years revealed that the suicide number for this particular group remained especially high in both countries in the period of 1994-2009. The figures are significantly higher among boys and boys tended to choose more violent means such as hanging or shooting.

Conclusions: Prevention initiatives in Lithuania are more fragmented, while Flanders has a more advanced preventive policy, which already has produced some positive results. The Flemish experience creates an opportunity for a transfer of knowledge to Lithuania and other countries.
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Keywords: Adolescents; Belgium; Flanders; Lithuania; deliberate self-harm; prevention; suicide; trends

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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  • Adolescent Psychiatry publishes reports of original research, critical reviews of topics relevant to practitioners, clinical observations with analysis and discussion, analysis of philosophical, ethical or social aspects of the fields of psychiatry and mental health, case reports with discussions, letters, and position papers. Adolescent Psychiatry, a peer-reviewed journal, and the official journal of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, aims to provide mental health professionals who work with adolescents with current information relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in adolescence.
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