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More suicides in Finland in 2013

HELSINKI, Jan 20. (Xinhua) -- The number of suicides in 2013 in Finland increased by 5 percent compared to the previous year, Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE reported on Monday.

The number of suicides that took place in Northern Savonia, located in central Finland, rose by 35 percent last year. While North Karelia, located in eastern Finland, was the only region where suicide cases declined slightly by one percent.

According to Heimo Viinamaki, professor of Psychiatry from University of Eastern Finland, the reasons behind suicide in general could be attributed to severe mental illness and substance abuse problems.

Viinamaki pointed out that few people who suffered from mental problems sought for help, and only less than one percent of all people who committed suicide had been treated in Northern Savonia.

"A great part of those who committed suicides did not receive any psychiatric treatment," he said, adding that many of the suicides could have been avoided if people had sought psychological help.

In Northern Savonia, which had the highest suicide rate, the unemployment rate was 12.1 percent in the first half of 2013 -- much higher than the 7.8 percent rate in the rest of the country.

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