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Health Place. 2015 Sep;35:85-94. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.07.001. Epub 2015 Aug 14.

Suicide in Portugal: Spatial determinants in a context of economic crisis.

Author information

1
Centre of Studies on Geography and Spatial Planning, Department of Geography, University of Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address: paulasantana.coimbra@gmail.com.
2
Centre of Studies on Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Coimbra, Portugal.
3
Chronic Diseases Research Center (CEDOC) and Department of Mental Health, NOVA Medical School, New University of Lisbon, Portugal.
4
Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal.

Abstract

This study compares the existing statistical association between suicide mortality and the characteristics of places of residence (municipalities), before and during the current economic crisis, in Portugal. We found that (1) the traditional culture-based North/South pattern of suicidal behaviour has faded away, while the socioeconomic urban/rural divide has become more pronounced; (2) suicide is associated with higher levels of rurality and material deprivation; and (3) recent shifts in suicidal trends may result from the current period of crisis. Strategies targeting rural areas combined with public policies that address area deprivation may have important implications for tackling suicide.

KEYWORDS:

Economic crisis; Material deprivation; Rurality; Spatial determinants; Suicide

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