Objectives: The first documented conference on suicide among school pupils was held by the Viennese Psychoanalytical Society in 1910, yet since then research on youth suicide in Vienna and Austria has been sparse. We investigated cases of suicide among Viennese minors over a period of 57 years in terms of prevalence, gender differences, suicide methods and monthly distribution. Methods: We studied registered suicides among Viennese youths aged 19 or younger occurring between 1946 and 2002 (n = 683). Results: The total suicide rate and the rates for male and female suicides among Viennese minors decreased over the period studied. The mean suicide rate was 6.2 per 100,000 (statistics on suicides per 100,000 were available only for the period 1953-2002), with a male-female ratio of 2.1:1. The predominant suicide method was domestic gas until its detoxification in Vienna. From 1976 jumping from a height became the most common suicide method of Viennese minors; it was also the predominant method among females, whereas hanging was the predominant method among males. Since 1996 the percentage of firearm suicides among males has doubled, and jumping suicides among females have tripled. A greater number of suicides among minors took place during the months of January, June, October and December. Conclusions: Suicide rates of Viennese minors are on the decline, corresponding to a reported decrease in the general suicide rate in Austria. In view of an observed recent increase in firearm suicides among males and jumping suicides among females aged 19 and younger, further monitoring as well as legal and environmental prevention measures are needed.
- Suicide methods
ASJC Scopus subject areas