Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Rural suicide figures suggest urban life not as unhealthy as we assume

We often think of life in cities and towns as unpleasant, hurried, stressful and therefore unhealthy - but the latest suicide figures from Co Clare suggest we may be wrong.

Last year, according to Gordon Deegan's story (premium content) in The Irish Times, 17 people (16 male) took their own lives in the county. This exceeds the number of deaths (12) from road accidents.

Of the 17 suicides, 11 took place in rural areas and 10 during the summer months. This is puzzling because we also expect a stronger sense of community in rural areas than in cities and towns - and community protects against depression.

Does anyone have an explanation?

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