Government announces new action plan to battle suicide

Åse MichaelsenMinister for the Elderly and Public Health Åse Michaelsen (Progress Party).Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Every year more than 500 Norwegians take their own lives. Now a new action plan against suicide is on the cards the government said.


“Every suicide is a tragedy.We must turn every stone to prevent suicide.We need to be better at seeing signs early enough to capture the signals, and therefore this new action plan will contain measures in several areas of society,” said Åse Michaelsen of Fremskrittsparti (Frp), Senior and Public Health Minister.

The preparation of the new action plan was announced on Monday,on the International World Day of Suicide Prevention.

Finding measures that work

Among other things,the government has commissioned the Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health to determine which measures have been proven to work.Professional and patient and family groups should also be involved in the work.

An important topic is to prevent suicide among patients in mental health care.New numbers indicate that many of the people taking their own lives have been hospitalised or recently diagnosed withmental illness.

Health Minister,Bent Høie of Høyre (H) emphasised at the same time that work to prevent suicide starts by ensuring that children and young people grow up in a safe environment and have someone go to when they are struggling.

Dare to care

“Therefore, we have strengthened health centers and school health services and provided many more psychologists outside the municipalities. Soon there will also be packages of mental health and substance abuse that will provide better and more predictable treatment in our hospitals” he said.

“But it’s not just in the health service we must make an effort to prevent suicide.We can all make an effort. If we fear that someone thinks about taking their life, we must dare to ask. We must dare to care” said Høie.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today