Suicide. Recognize it as a serious public health problem and implement a national prevention strategy. The House approves a bipartisan motion

In Italy there are about 4,000 people who commit suicide every year. A number greatly underestimated by the absence of advanced detection systems. The phenomenon has worsened due to the Covid pandemic. Especially among the younger ones. Another severely affected category is that of women victims of violence, as well as those subject to aggression, marginalization and exclusion such as LGBTIQ + people. Faced with this, the House passed a text committing the government to 21 points ranging from monitoring to prevention and training. THE MOTION


Every year, in Italy alone, some 4,000 people commit suicide and it is estimated that at least half of them could be saved with proper intervention. A number that does not include data submerged by the absence of a dedicated observatory and advanced detection systems. The situation is also exacerbated by the Covid pandemic, especially among the youngest.

A few numbers are enough to track the situation: in recent months, between October 2020 and January 2021, there has been an increase of 30 in the complex child and adolescent neuropsychiatry operating unit of the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome. attempts and self-harm and the room was 100 percent occupied, while in other years, on average, the figure was around 70 percent. In addition, between February 2020 and February 2021, there was a 32 percent increase in mental health-related requests, such as suicidal ideation, self-harm, and suicide attempts, received by the 114 Child Emergency Services. Family Policy Department. and managed by Telefono Azzurro.

Another severely affected category is that of women victims of violence. From March to October 2020, the increase in so-called feminicides-suicides increased by 90.3 percent. And again, the risk of suicide increases then for people who, being carriers of discriminatory factors, are at greater risk of suffering phenomena of aggression, marginalization and exclusion. Among these, data on LGBTIQ + people are of particular concern.

These are just some of the premise that the bipartisan motion on suicide prevention passed in the House this afternoon. The text specifically commits the Government to 21 points ranging from the recognition of suicide as a serious public health problem to various initiatives for data collection, prevention, promotion of awareness and training campaigns.

The following are the points contained in the motion on which the Government is committed:

1) recognizing suicide and related phenomena as serious public health problems;

2) create a national suicide prevention strategy, providing authoritative guidance on key prevention activities based on empirical evidence, through the implementation of subsequent commitments of the device in this guide;

3) establish a public study center / observatory working to achieve effective monitoring of data relating to suicide cases and related phenomena throughout the territory of the Italian Republic, paying due attention to the evolution of the conditions of the psychological state of citizens and build a support network for the most vulnerable and at risk;

4) establish a free suicide hotline to take care of people at risk, based on national and international cutting-edge experiences, as well as a digital application and any new useful tool to deal with the problem, which are promoted to institutional channels. and government communications and public television;

5) take competitive initiatives to insert a diagnostic detection system, such as an identification code, into the digital healthcare system, in order to better investigate any suicide attempt, in cases determined by the protocols established by the responsible bodies. , as well as to respond to the most important suicide risk mentioned in the introduction;

6) promote awareness and prevention campaigns in schools, from primary school, through:

a) the preparation of formation specific to school operators, so that they are able to offer clear links with professionals in the sector;

b) the inclusion, within the school curriculum, of emotional education;

c) The inclusion of projects and opportunities for discussion in secondary and high school centers aimed at improving knowledge and prevention of suicide in adolescence, highlighting the risks arising from bullying, cyberbullying and any phenomenon that may cause discomfort as self-damage, suicidal ideation or suicide;

d) the performance of peer support programsthat is, programs to ensure effective peer support;

7) take competence-based initiatives to allocate resources to the recruitment and training of qualified personnel in territorial and intervention networks, so that there are people specifically trained to respond to needs;

8) in order to acquire more knowledge on the subject, take initiatives to provide a specific and sufficient endowment to scientific research in the sector in general, which includes the funding of dedicated grants and the promotion of scientific / institutional collaborations, as well how to guide research on contingent causes of all kinds that present an increased risk of the incidence of suicidal phenomena;

9) take effective initiatives to enable access to care for a growing number of citizens and encourage activities of carry on monitor the progress of support programs over time;

10) promote the services of postventionintended to provide support to people susceptible to infection;

11) to protect minors in particular, but not only, to take initiatives to discourage incitement to suicide by preventing access to places. web which encourage the use of self-harm practices;

12) develop a specific interactive digital application for preadolescents, adolescents and young people, containing useful information for the recognition of psychological distress, psychoeducational information for mental health and useful numbers to contact the dedicated territorial services, evaluating the possibility to strengthen the services offered by school psychologists;

13) to promote information, prevention and awareness campaigns at national level extended to the whole population, offering guidelines in the State-Regions Conference, in order to homogenize the intervention processes, without prejudice to the specific regional competences;

14) with special reference to some types of suicides committed by young people and adolescents, take initiatives to complete their work in the field of suicide prevention at home, starting with the launch of information campaigns aimed at promoting the best measures to gun ownership and awareness of the resulting suicide risk, through the monitoring of scientific updates and international best practices;

15) assess the possibility of setting up a specific working group, with the involvement of associations and other entities that deal specifically with the most sensitive people: adolescents and victims of bullying, entrepreneurs in crisis, economically vulnerable people, community members. LGBTQ +, people with alcohol and drug problems, as well as any existing category that needs due care;

16) to promote, within the framework of the interventions to fight against the phenomenon of suicides, projects that have socializing and formative aims open to the population, by means of integrated multidisciplinary itineraries and able to satisfy promptly the needs of the patients and the families;

17) Adopt the relevant initiatives to activate the psychological intervention services, through resources that already operate within the Armed Forces and Police Forces, for the treatment of the forms of psychological suffering of workers, with special reference to prevention of suicide, imparting specific vocational training programs. for professionals operating within the delegated reference body in the above tasks, and for encouraging the use of external resources, such as professionals not operating within the Armed Forces and Police Forces, to respond to the needs previously exposed, putting an end to the stigma effect that in many cases prevents an effective request for intervention and a consequent effective implementation of the same;

18) always with special reference to the categories indicated in the previous commitment, to elaborate a specific digital application useful for the support between equals, modeling the existing best practices at international level;

19) Adopt, in relation to suicide prevention, initiatives to implement specialized services dedicated to perinatal mental health, ensuring the continuity of care and the structuring of active policies to support pregnant women;

20) assess the opportunity to support the activities of voluntary associations and self-help groups and other humanitarian initiatives operating in the field of suicide prevention;

21) to present to the Chambers an annual report on the updating of the conditions of the country in relation to the subject of suicide, its prevention and related phenomena, on the state of knowledge, on the new scientific acquisitions of the sector, as well as on the effectiveness of the national suicide prevention strategy.

June 14, 2022
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