Suicide in Austria
Pp. 201-212 (12)
Elmar Etzersdorfer, Nestor D. Kapusta, Ingo W. Nader, Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, Kristina Ritter, Thomas Stompe, Martin Voracek and Gernot Sonneck
Austria ranked among the countries with highest suicide rates for decades. The suicide rate
increased until 1986, but decreased continuously since then. At present, Austria’s suicide rate is about the
European average. The most common method for both sexes is hanging, followed by shooting (for men) or
jumping from heights (for women). This chapter presents epidemiological data as well as a study concerning
the acceptance of suicide motives. Furthermore, the Austrian National Suicide Prevention Plan is outlined. It
comprises activities to increase awareness of suicide risk, support and treatment after suicide attempts,
treatment of mental illness, education of health care staff, restriction of access to means of suicide, and
responsible media reporting. Although the plan has not yet been approved by the Austrian parliament, many
of the activities have already been implemented on a regional level.
Epidemiology, suicide, prevention, Austria.
Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna; Liebiggasse 5, A-1010 Vienna, Austria