“When the tunnel was cracking or, rather, when the tunnel was cracking, I was able to see the part that I was previously forbidden to contemplate. Because there are always exits, although when you don’t see a single one it’s as if there weren’t any. That is what, at least, many people who think of suicide as the solution to an unsolvable existence experience.” After these words loaded with pain, sensitivity and hope there is no known name. They are not signed by a famous author, but for us at EL MUNDO they are statements of incalculable importance.
The person who writes them is a reader of the newspaper who, together with other people, has spontaneously created a space for meeting and debate in the report comment forums from the suicide prevention series that this newspaper launched just a year ago. Today we want to recognize in this article the enormous contribution of our readers to the objective of ‘Once Lives’ of breaking the silence about this very serious public health problem, which causes more deaths in Spain every year (4.097 in 2022, according to provisional data from the INE), and show our deep gratitude to all those who have shared difficult experiences and have extended their hand to those who showed their suffering publicly.
The reality of suicide is “the elephant in the room that no one talks about”, warns a reader, grateful that it is beginning to be addressed in the Once Lives series. “The mental health of society and well-being. Polarization, frustration, depression… A lot has to be invested to study what is happening to us as a society. Will there be any government that, without politicizing the issue, is capable of taking actions to study it, understand and alleviate it?” he asks. Another, along the same lines, underlines the importance of “putting a great social problem in black on white.” “11 people a day!…that’s too many not to analyze what’s happening,” he warns.
“Suicide is a phenomenon of multifactorial origin that is influenced by bio-psychosocial conditions. Not all people who commit suicide suffer from some type of psychopathology,” defends a reader against the very harmful myth that behind a death in these circumstances there is always a diagnosis of mental disorder.
Many citizens express in the comments on news about prevention their consternation and incomprehension in the face of what they consider to be deficient public psychological care: “Once you decide to ask for help, you go to Social Security and they give you an appointment for six months and one session a month at most. How many can afford to pay €60 each week to go to a psychiatrist or psychologist? A year ago, Sánchez increased the budget by 100 million euros for mental health but has anyone noticed anything? Everything remains the same”; “Whoever needs psychotherapy either pays for it or if they are lucky, goes to social security once a month for 15 minutes”; “But if there is no Mental Health, in Valencia they make an appointment for a psychiatrist for both and three months, and psychotherapy 10 minutes each month”; “The figures speak for themselves. In 2022: 49 women murdered by gender violence, 1,145 deaths in traffic accidents and 4,000 deaths from suicide. And yet, the resources allocated to mental health, prevention or help for possible victims of suicide are ridiculous in comparison”: