Suicide is a public health problem which, besides the loss of human life leads to both mental suffering and deteriorated health among the family and other affected persons.
In 2016, there were about 1,100 deaths as a result of suicide in Sweden. From an international perspective Sweden's suicide rate is roughly at the same level as the EU average, and over the last 15 years the number of suicides have declined by approximately 20 percent in Sweden, as in large parts of the EU.
However, the positive trend does not apply to youths and young adults, where suicide rates have been at approximately the same level for a long period of time. Suicide is the most common cause of death among women 15–29 years and the second most common cause of death among men in the same age group. In all age groups almost all over the world men are over-represented in terms of deaths resulting from suicide. In Sweden more than twice as many men as women commit suicide. Other over-represented groups in Sweden are LGBT persons and those born abroad.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden has been assigned to coordinate suicide prevention on a national level. Our responsibility is to:
- develop the coordination and cooperation between relevant agencies and stakeholders by, among other things, a national agency cooperation group and a national stakeholder group
- develop knowledge compilation, dissemination of knowledge and guidance in collaboration with relevant agencies and stakeholders
- strengthen knowledge-building and development of new knowledge in collaboration with agencies and relevant stakeholders and provide support to such development work
- develop monitoring of the preventative suicide work in collaboration with relevant agencies and stakeholders
- publish summarising annual reports on the development of the area based on our role as a coordinating agency.