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What factors influence suicide-related calls to 112?

Miriam Marco, Antonio López-Quílez, Marisol Lila, Enrique Gracia, Pablo Escobar-Hernández and María Montagud-Andrés, Universitat de València, Universitat de València
Project selected in the Social Research Call 2021

Suicide-related emergency calls can be an indicator of mental health problems; analysing them on a community scale is essential for planning public strategies aimed at the management and prevention of suicide attempts. This study analyses suicide-related calls to the 112 emergency service in the city of Valencia during the period comprised between 2017 and 2022.
Key points
  • 1
       During the period 2017-2022, a total of 10,030 suicide-related calls were made to 112 in the city of Valencia. In 60% of cases, the person in crisis was a female. Over the course of this period, the calls experienced an upwards tend.
  • 2
       During the first two years of the study, the most frequent calls came from the middle-aged group. However, from 2019 onwards, there was a significant increase in calls from persons in crisis aged 15 to 20 years, this becoming the group with the most calls during this whole period.
  • 3
       With regard to gender, there was an increase in calls made by females in crisis aged 15 to 20 years, coinciding with the general trends. On the other hand, the same pattern is not observed among males. Although calls in the 15-20 age group have increased, the middle-aged group is still registering a higher volume, particularly among 50-55-year-olds.
  • 4
       Neighbourhoods characterised by lower levels of educational attainment and population density, as well as greater residential mobility, ageing of the population, and concentration of immigrants, presented higher levels of suicide-related calls.
  • 5
       Significant gender differences were observed, where social deprivation and single-person households influenced calls from males in crisis, while concentration of immigrants was associated with calls from females in crisis. A seasonal effect was also detected, with a spike in calls made by females during the spring and by males during the summer.
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