More Swedes attempt suicide

The number of suicide attempts among young people in Sweden is increasing. The rise among young women has been particularly sharp, although the figure for young men is also up.

The figures come in a report published on Monday by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, which shows that the greatest rise in attempted suicides in 2006 was among women in the 15-24 age group.

A total of 140,000 people were admitted to hospital in 2006 for ‘deliberate self-destructive action’, the official term used in medical registers for suicide attempts and other forms of self-harm. Overdoses of tablets were most common.

The number of people who succeeded in killing themselves also increased, particularly among women aged 15-24. Some 8.4 women per 100,000 in the 15-24 age group committed suicide in 2006, the highest figure since 1979, according to official records.

“This is a terrible development, and we have no scientific studies that explain why, although the social climate is tougher these days,” Professor Britta Alin Åkerman at the Karolinska Institute’s Institution for Suicide Prevention told Svenska Dagbladet.