Suicide rate stable, but is the biggest cause of young men’s deaths


The number of suicides in the Netherlands remained virtually unchanged last year when compared with the coronavirus years, national statistics agency CBS said on Friday.

In total, 1,916 people ended their own lives in 2022, an average of five a day. The number of suicides per head of the population has remained stable since 2018, the CBS said.

Nevertheless, suicide remains the biggest cause of death among young adults and men are twice as likely as women to end their lives.

Renske Gilissen, lead researcher with the 113 helpline, says multiple factors play a role in suicide, which is why there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

In particular, men are generally less likely to ask for help than women, she said. ‘Men are sometimes embarassed, but it is actually a good thing if they ask for help,’ she told broadcaster NOS.

NOS also interviewed two young men who set up a foundation to help their peers, following the suicide of two close friends.

‘We all struggle with ourselves sometimes,’ said co-founder Tim Zuidberg, 29. ‘But it is not at all ‘strong’ to keep this to yourself. Expressing your feelings is brave.’

Anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts can talk or chat anonymously with the helpline or call the free number 0800-0113.

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