SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Of the 81 youngsters who committed suicide last year three in 10 had an immigrant background, a study by health officials has shown.
The study also found that an average of seven teenagers kill themselves every week and that boys make up the majority of cases. One quarter (20) of the 81 cases of teen suicide took place in the province of Brabant.
The number of teen suicides in the Netherlands had been stable at around 50 a year of a number of years but suddenly shot up to 81 in 2017. In June junior health minister Paul Blokhuis upped the budget for suicide prevention among teens by €2m to €5.4m.
Blokhuis has now briefed a team of mental health researchers to conduct further studies into what is causing the increase in teen suicides. It will be the most extensive investigation into teen suicide so far in the Netherlands.
‘Great Britain and the United States are also seeing an increase and it will be interesting to compare findings,’ head researcher Renske Gilissen told broadcaster NOS. The team is expecting to come up with concrete ways of helping teens struggling with suicidal thoughts in 2019. (DutchNews)