Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin Ireland and Department of Psychiatry, Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Objectives: The total number of suicides in Flanders, Belgium, and Lithuania is higher than the European Union (EU) average. This paper compares suicide rates among adolescents in Flanders and Lithuania and discusses trends and public policy initiatives for prevention. Methods: Using Pub Med and other databases we compared suicide rates among adolescents in Flanders, Belgium and Lithuania and identified interventional initiatives and evidence for their effectiveness in each country. Results: The statistics for adolescents aged between 15 and 19 years revealed that the suicide number for this particular group remained especially high in both countries in the period of 1994-2009. The figures are significantly higher among boys and boys tended to choose more violent means such as hanging or shooting. Conclusions: Prevention initiatives in Lithuania are more fragmented, while Flanders has a more advanced preventive policy, which already has produced some positive results. The Flemish experience creates an opportunity for a transfer of knowledge to Lithuania and other countries.