Denmark Needs Suicide Help As 450 Children Attempt Yearly

Armen Hareyan's picture

Child suicide rates in Denmark are at alarming levels as 450 children each year attempt suicide. Children poison themselves with pills or otherwise try to take their own lives. Suicide help hotline centers need to increase in numbers. Figures from the country's children's department indicate that about 450 children between 10 and 15 years are hospitalized each year after they have attempted suicide. This is the first time that scientists have studied this age group.

Child surprising rates are surprising and frightening. "It's surprising. It is many, too many," says child psychologist Kim Juul Larsen, who heads the Clinic for Suicide Endangered Children and Young People in New Jersey who is leading the investigation on child suicide rates.

"It is children who are engaged in suicidal behavior. And that is something we do not normally associate with children under 15 years. It is both frightening and surprising that there are so many," adds Kim Juul Larsen, who expects that many more children go with thoughts of suicide without seeking help from suicide hotlines.


There are more girls that attempt suicide and they mostly take pain medications. These children are left to themselves. Kim Juul Larsen tells the children's sections in mental care hospitals are generally good to deal and help children who have attempted suicide. However, when the children are sent home from hospital, they are left to their families and are often to themselves.

If you do not consider that the child has a severe psychiatric disorder, it is the municipality, which determines what should happen. In some municipalities these children have treatment options. In others they don't. This means that they are often sent home, and so, there is no more to it.

Politicians should intervene

Child suicide attempt is a problem that is so large that there should be match between this phenomena and the local political agenda. There needs to be established more suicide hotlines. There needs to be more help for suicide. This requires financing and and further strengthening of psychiatric departments in hospitals. The local municipalities don't have enough means to and are not equipped to tackle this issue alone without the central governmental help. "There needs to be further financing as to who is responsible for post-treatment recovery, regions or the local municipalities" says the head of the Clinic for Suicide Endangered Children and Young People in New Jersey.

There is some good news. While there are attempts, the suicide is rarely carried out. It happens rarely that the children aged 10-14 years end up dying after a suicide attempt. According to the study, girls almost never die, while there are from three to five suicides per year among boys under 15 years.