21 December 2005
Child and teenage suicide in Europe: a serious public health issue
Motion for a recommendation
presented by Mr Marquet and others
This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it
1. The statistics are clear: 10% of teenagers have already made one attempt at suicide.
2. Among children and teenagers, suicide is the second most frequent cause of death after road traffic accidents. The death rates resulting from suicides of young people between 10 and 18 years old are for example 15% in France, 11% in the United Kingdom, 13% in Germany, 8% in Spain and Italy and 5% in Greece. This bad hid parade is already existing in other Member States of the Council of Europe.
3. In spite of these worrying and unacceptable figures, very little has been done to try and reverse the trend.
4. The Assembly believes that we must not remain inactive. Child and teenage suicides are tragedies which concern not just the victims’ families and friends but society as a whole. It should be stressed that children or teenagers who have already attempted suicide once usually try again within a year.
5. It is therefore important to take measures to develop all possible means for assessing the psychological state of the young people concerned.
6. Schools, doctors and all those involved through their work in looking after children, together with NGOs in general, all have a key role to play in prevention and support so that warning signs are detected on time.
7. The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers
- conduct epidemiological surveys of child and teenage suicides in the member states so as to gain a clearer understanding of the disparities in the number and causes of such suicides;
- take the necessary measures to put in place:
- health education programmes for children and teenagers;
- training programmes for relatives and individuals involved in looking after young people;
- reception and care facilities for children and young people;
- policies for helping relatives and close friends.
Signed (see overleaf)
MARQUET, Bernard, Monaco, ALDE
BURLISON, United Kingdom, SOC
CHERNYSHENKO, Igor, Russian Federation, EDG
DONABAUER, Karl, Austria, EPP/CD
FAUTRIER, Catherine, Monaco, EPP/CD
GLESENER, Marcel, Luxembourg, EPP/CD
GÜLÇIÇEK, Ali Riza, Turkey, SOC
KOCHARYAN, Shavarsh, Armenia, ALDE
KOLESNIKOV, Victor, Russian Federation, EDG
LALOY, Marie-José, Belgium, SOC
OSKINA, Vera, Russian Federation, EDG
RIGONI, Andrea, Italy, EPP/CD
ZERNOVSKI, Andrej, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", ALDE
1 SOC: Socialist Group
EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party
ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
EDG: European Democratic Group
UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
NR: not registered in a group