Year: 2008 Source: Crisis, v.29, no.3, (2008), p.123-130 SIEC No: 20090252

The purpose of the present study was to compare county council politicians’ attitudes toward suicide and suicide prevention in five European countries. A questionnaire was distributed and here the responses to the open-ended questions are analyzed qualitatively. Considerable differences were found in what the politicians in the five countries believed to be the most important causes of suicide and how suicide can be prevented. There were also differences in to what degree the politicians revealed a judgmental attitude toward suicide, which seemed to be related to the magnitude of the problem in the respective countries. A certain implicit inconsistency in the logic directing the politicians’ responses was found when their views on causes to suicide and suicide prevention strategies were compared. The responses indicate a need for increased consciousness and knowledge about suicide and suicide prevention among politicians in all the five countries. This is important since they are responsible for initiating and funding suicide preventive efforts