Norway registered fewer suicides during the first months of the corona pandemic

Ari Behn massPhoto: Fredrik Hagen / NTB

In March, April, and May 2020, fewer Norwegians took their won lives than in the same period the five years before.

The number of suicides in Norway was 12.5% lower in these three months in 2020 than the average for the same months in the five years before.

In actual numbers, there was a decrease from 160 to 140 suicides, according to an analysis of figures from the Cause of Death Register. 

The data was revealed in a commentary recently published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica.

According to medical professors Ping Qin and Lars Mehlum at the National Center for Suicide Research and Prevention (NSSF), who are behind the commentary, the explanation for the decline has not been clarified.

The fall may be a natural variation, but both see it as likely that the decline is related to the pandemic. 


In that case, an important explanation may be that the pandemic makes us concentrate on other things in life, Ping Qin believes.

“Previous problems become less urgent when the pandemic threatens everyone and the whole society. 

“The pandemic may also have changed people’s views on health and mortality and made us experience life as having more worth,” she told

She also pointed to other possible explanations, such as a stronger n experience of community, which could mean that people who feel left out experienced more social support in these times.

According to the National Institute of Public Health, every year, between 500 and 600 people commit suicide in Norway.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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