The minister of Health in functions, María Luisa Carcedo, has defended this Tuesday the role of the media when to anticipate the suicide to prevent it. “It’s a complex issue, but these behaviors can be prevented. There is evidence that adequate coverage is not sensationalist or banal of suicides can help with this. And a treatment tabloid may increase them,” said Carcedo during the inauguration of the day Depression and suicide. The reality silenced, organized by THE COUNTRY and the Chain to BE.

“A treatment information based on verifiable data, where resources are made available help and testimony in the first person may help to reduce suicides,” said the minister. “We can all put a granite of sand to help build a more realistic picture and less stigmatizing of people with mental health problems,” he added. In this regard, the ministry launched less than a month ago a working group with the press associations, doctors, psychologists and survivors to jointly develop a series of recommendations so that the media can report the most appropriate way and to break taboos about this topic.

The holder of Health has put numbers to this issue: according to data from the OECD, one out of every six europeans suffered a mental health problem in 2016, and it is estimated that depression affects more than 300 million people around the world. The World Health Organization predicts that this ailment is the leading cause of disability in 2030. In addition, around 800,000 people taking their lives each year in the world, a figure spooky that does not include the attempts, which could multiply the figure by 20. It is considered that the suicide is the first cause of death external of young people between 15 and 29 years. According to data of the ministry, in 2017 the number of events of this type increased by 3% to 3.680 cases, with a rate of 7.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

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“depression is a serious disorder that can cause devastating effects on both the affected and their family, but in the majority of cases, has no cure. Only when not detected early, the disease can be complicated, and the complication most extreme is suicide,” said Carcedo. But “the depression and its consequences have been trivialised so much that a lot of people do not give them importance. That’s why an early diagnosis is important, and there has a role to play relevant to primary care,” he added.

finally, the minister has referred to the film Joker, without a quote, which starred a mental patient. “This film says that the worst part of having a mental illness is that people expect you to act like if you don’t have. We have to change this and seek the most appropriate solutions to prevent the stigma that surrounds mental illness,” he concluded. Before, the director of corporate events of the Group in a Hurry, Antonio Hernández Rodicio, has pointed out that the goal of the day, presented by the journalist of the Chain to BE Macarena Berlin, is “to encourage the discussion around suicide and depression, affairs of the public agenda that require active policies and also the social responsibility of companies”.

The journalist Macarena Berlin, at a time of the day. VICTOR SAINZ

Educate on empathy

Ana de Sousa Baptista, president of the Mental Health Policy of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH, in its acronym in English), has talked with the journalist of THE COUNTRY Ana Alfageme. “The depression is part of our life. It is difficult to identify in a process of coexistence. To do this, we must educate in the empathy, to understand emotions in order to reach to the other,” explained De Sousa. This is complex because “society that is becoming more and more oppressive and demanding and the individual tends to disconnect itself to give response to the needs of the society”. Alfageme has reminded us that every 40 seconds someone commits suicide in the world, “and you probably have the age of their children, because it is the first cause of death among young people”.

Ana González-Pinto, president of the Spanish Society of Biological Psychiatry, explained for his part that “we still don’t accept depression as a disease,” and has pointed out that “depression and suicide are public health problems”. Meanwhile, Nel A. González Zapico, president of the Confederation of the Mental Health of Spain, has pointed out that “depression is a very serious problem that should not be frivolizar because at stake is the life of the people”, but do not usually pay attention to. In this sense, has pointed out that there are many road safety campaigns and almost none of suicide prevention, when more people die of the second causes the first.

Mario de Matteis, psychiatrist, Suicide Prevention Program of the Mental Health Center of Retiro, has commented that there is a lack of a standardization of the mental illness: “you Take an antidepressant sometimes seems like a sign of weakness, not happens the same when you have to take a medication for other ailments such as hypertension”. Javier Jiménez, president of the Association for Research, Prevention, and Intervention of Suicide and author of the guide to the prevention of youth suicide in the Community of Madrid, has criticized that there is not a sufficient number of qualified professionals to detect and intervene in patients with behavior or suicidal ideation. “In the faculties of Psychology there is a specific topic related to suicidal behavior,” he said.

Report on the positive

The former minister of Health, Carmen Bunch, who put in motion a plan against suicide during his time as a counselor in the Community of Valencia, has highlighted the importance of informing in positive on this issue. “Every time that you try the suicide of someone famous, why not put an indication of public and private resources available to those who are thinking about suicide?”. And he continued: “it Is important to explain the context, avoid expressions of heroicity or martyrdom and not to interview witnesses. And always include the fact that suicide can be prevented”.

Gabriel González Ortiz, author of the book ‘let’s Talk about suicide’, has highlighted that “we are in a time of change” with regard to this topic: “The celebration of this forum a few years ago would be unthinkable. The means of communication were even perceived as part of the problem and now we can be a part of the solution.” In his opinion, “the Spanish society is more aware of Europe at the time of reporting on gender-based violence, and what we can also do with the suicide. But for that we need training. Keep in mind the three rs: rigour, respect and responsibility.” Juan Andrés Mateos, director of the documentary Suicide, has called for “educating the teachers and parents” to learn how to deal with this issue, since the media is not enough.

The musician James Rhodes, and the presenter Javier del Pino. VICTOR SAINZ

The pianist and writer James Rhodes, who has narrated his suicide attempts in the book Instrumental, has closed the day in a dialogue with the presenter of the String to BE Javier del Pino. “Going to a psychologist is very expensive, almost a luxury. If you feel the urge to kill yourself, that doesn’t really help for help”, have been criticized. For Rhodes, “the issue is not about the suicide, but how they speak of suicide. If you speak in a way that samples as something glamorous, and even sexy, as is sometimes done with the suicides of the famous, is very irresponsible.” And has stressed that “in the Uk, every time we talk about suicide is put at the end of the news a support group for people in this situation. In Spain is not usually done.”

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