Suicide in Portugal: occurrences within Maritime Public Domain

Keywords: Suicide, Maritime Public Domain, Seashore, Prevention


Suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. World Health Organization (WHO) has been taking this phenomenon very seriously as it is considered nowadays a global concern. Portugal is no exception and follows the international tendency with the suicide rate around 10 in 100,000 inhabitants, still a number below the average of the European Union. The purpose of this study is to better understand the Portuguese reality on this topic in terms of geographical distribution along the Portuguese maritime coast, focusing in the Maritime Public Domain (MPD) and comparing the results to the available data on the rest of the Portuguese territory. We have carried out a study in which we analyze data collected by Statistics Portugal from 2000 to 2014 as well as by the Maritime Authority Directorate General (MADG) over a more extended period of time, from 2000 to 2016. According to the data collected it is possible to confirm that the number of suicides in Portugal is, in general, worryingly growing. Comparing the results by municipalities it is po ssible to verify that some areas of the Portuguese territory show a far higher rate of suicide than others. It is also possible to verify a higher incidence of suicides in some areas along the seacoast. In a territorial analysis of the suicide rate, data is not so clear, with the exception of Oporto and Lisbon regions that keep standing out. Data collected by MADG show a high number of suicides in MPD spaces, with almost 2 suicides each month. This number, which has been increased from 2010 to 2012 but has declined since then, has its greatest expression in well-defined locations such as some high infrastructures and high cliffs.


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