Serbia, and especially its northern province of Vojvodina, has the highest rate of suicides in Europe, with 19 out of 100,000 people opting to kill themselves compared to a European average of 13 per 100,000. In Vojvodina the rate is the highest – 28.5 per 100,000.
Between 1,300 and 1,400 people kill themselves in Serbia every year, or four people every day, Borba daily reported on Friday. Out of them, 1,000 are men.
According to the statistics of the Srce (Heart) Centre based in Vojvodina’s capital Novi Sad, men between the ages of 50-70 are the group that is more at risk of suicide than any other category. Suicide attempts are getting increasingly common among women.
“In the last two decades, there are even 35 suicides annually out of 100,000 people in Vojvodina,” a volunteer at the Centre, Dejan Stojcic, told the daily.
He said the number of suicides drops during wars, but jumps in times of crisis in the country.
“The highest number of suicides was during the hyperinflation period and the lowest during the NATO bombing in 1999,” he said.
Sociologist Bora Radovic said the main reasons were social issues as well as a decline in the mental and psychological health of individuals.
“A person commits suicide when he or she cannot change anything, when he is suffering and there’s no help or understanding from his surroundings,” he said. “The frequency increases with the age.”
The latest survey by Serbia’s public health institute, ordered by the Health Ministry, showed that every second person in Serbia suffers at least one symptom of depression. More than half, 55.8 percent, of the Serbian population feel nervousness, depression, sadness, exhaustion, and tiredness. Only 4.4 percent said they felt good.