The data is contained in a 28-page document from the Portuguese Psychologists Association (OPP), entitled “Let's talk about suicide”, launched in connection with the World Day for the Prevention of Suicide, marked Friday.
“One of the factors that can trigger these suicidal behaviors is in fact this maladjustment that the person feels in relation to family acceptance when there are issues of sexual orientation or gender identity,” OPP's Renata Benavente told Lusa.
The psychologist explained that when there are these “increased difficulties, especially in these critical stages of development, of personality structuring, of self-acceptance”, the situation worsens.
“Adolescence itself, and the numbers show this, is already a difficult phase in which there is a growing number of suicides. If these difficulties that are expected in adolescence are associated with other risk factors, namely sexual identity, the non-acceptance by the family of their sexual orientation, all these difficulties will naturally increase the risk of suicide”, she stressed.
In her opinion, it is a group of young people and people that deserves special attention.
She also warned of “a very worrying issue” which is suicide among the younger population, the second leading cause of death among young people worldwide between 15 and 34 years old.
“The first [cause] is accidental deaths and the second is suicide, which leads us to reflect on why young people are making this type of decision to take their own life,” she said.
In Portugal, the number of deaths by suicide “is high”, with the most recent statistics pointing to three deaths per day due to this cause.
Worldwide, nearly 800,000 people die by suicide annually, which corresponds to approximately one death every 40 seconds.
“Most of the people who died by suicide suffered from psychological health problems, namely depression and problematic alcohol consumption”, the document states.
On the other hand, Renata Valente pointed out, the international investigation also shows that the number of attempts is 25 times higher than the number of completed suicides.
“Suicide attempts and suicides are a major challenge in terms of public health and usually result from situations of great emotional distress and have a very important impact, both by the loss of human lives” and on “survivors”.
"Each suicide can leave between six to 10 people surviving", such as parents, siblings, children, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, colleagues of the person who died and health professionals, says the publication.
About the document, Renata Benavente explained that the main objective is to address the themes of suicide and promote health literacy, "helping the general population to identify some signs that may refer to changes that indicate a possible behavior of this nature".
"For many it is just an escape from a transitory situation that cannot be dealt with in a more impulsive way and if we are attentive to this type of indicators we can really act to help this person to alleviate this internal suffering and not consummate an act of this kind nature”, he stressed.
The document also looks at reasons that can lead to suicide, risk and protective factors, makes recommendations on what can be done and has a section dedicated to myths and facts and another to warning signs.