“Stay!”, Chile’s ambitious plan to fight a wave of suicides resulting from the pandemic

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The concern for the increase in suicides in Chile which began during the COVID-19 pandemic was what led the Santiago authorities to implement a formal program to try and tackle the phenomenon. The project, called stayaims to achieve at least one million people who could be at risk suicide.

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To get an idea of ​​the extent of the phenomenon, a single piece of information is enough. If before the pandemic one of the main hospitals in Santiago treated three cases of suicide a month, today there are three a day. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile is in sixth place with 9 suicides per 100,000 inhabitants, while the region’s average is 6.2, according to World Bank data.

According to official data, the most affected are the elderly, members of the LGBTI community and people of school age. With an investment of $2 million, the project will implement a strategy in each of the 52 neighborhoods of the Santiago Metropolitan Region.

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The Stay project will be available in the 52 neighborhoods of the metropolitan region of Santiago, Chile. Photo: AFP

The Stay project will be available in the 52 neighborhoods of the metropolitan region of Santiago, Chile. Photo: AFP

Living room training

Stay is supported by the joint work of seven foundations, including “Para la Confianza”. Its executive director, Valentina Correa, explains to Rfi that it is currently the adult population “that suffers the highest percentage of suicidal thoughts or behaviors”. Another problem lies in the Lack of knowledge and disparity of suicide figures.

The program “has not only to do with the orientation, containment or overcoming of a suicide by family members”, but also “aims that we all agree on what the data relating to the attempt of suicide and death by suicide in the country.”

The program works like this: in addition to treating people in crisis through a chat where mental health professionals work, there will also be support for families who are going through the suicide of a relative. The chat will be available from 10:00 to 22:00.

One of the tools used by Stay is the chat, accessible through the page. Its primary function is “provide crisis counseling to the person who is sufferingbecause we understand that if you contact us it is because you are asking for help,” Correa explains. person.

“We hope that relatives, friends, who know someone who has thoughts of death, or who want to clear up some taboo on suicide will also contact us. For example, the idea that talking about suicide is promoting it is well establishedAnd it’s just the opposite. This program has a strong awareness and promotional component.

Source: RFI

Source: Clarin

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