Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 21, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
March 11, 1973 THE LETHBRIDOE HERALD 33 Psychiatry's birthplace has a lot of suicides VIENNA (Renter) Heallh authorities in the land that gave birth to psychiatry are setting up a special institute to combat one of the worst suicide rates in the world. In this small Alpine repub- lic, usually thought of as the land of wine, women ancl song, about 23 of every inhabitants choose to end their lives each year, bringing the annual suicide toll to al- most Exact ligures on the num- ber of attempted suicides are unknown because only those cases brought to hospitals can he registered. The ratio of attempted sui- cides to successful ones is es- timated at between eight and 10 to one which means that an average Austrians try to kill themselves each year. According to international statistics, this record is only surpassed by Hungary, with Czechoslovakia third on the list. All three countries belonged to the Aiistro-Hungarian em- pire before the First World Wai-. A similar social back- ground, climate, and above- average alcohol consumption in all threo countries are sug- gested as possible factors. Psychiatrist and social workers, however, have other explanations. "The simple reason .might be the fact that the Austro- Hungarian empire possessed some of the best statistical records in the world and therefore suicides in these countries were and still are registered with greater accu- says Austrian sociolo- gist Heniz Stcinert. Vienna heads the Austrian suicide statistics and Health Minister Ingrid Leodoltcr calls the c a p i t a 1's highly changeable climate "sui- cidal." But experts here have dis- missed this theory as non- sense. A comparative study be- tween Los city which also has a high suicide Vienna showed that social isolation is great here. People have fewer friends and fewer possibilities of talking about their troubles. INSTITUTE NEEDED "We badly need sn institute for the prevention of sui- says Vienna's leading psychiatrist, Prof. Erwin Hin- gel. For years he has headed a suicide research team and it was on his initiative that the International Society for the Prevention of Suicides was founded here in 1961. Some 40 countries have since bocome members. "It is ridiculous lo think that people trying to commit suicide really all want to Riugel says. "In 85 per cent of ail CESCS where potential suicides were saved, thcv are glad that they arc still alive. What we need is crisis sta- tions, where someone can talk to I he patients, where they can be helped to overcome the one moment of panic. Then the number of suicides will decrease fast." Hal Boyle NEW YORK (API Si- lence is golden, they say, and talk is cheap. Silence may often be more v a lu a b 1 e than gold. But whoever said that talk is cheap obviously never had to pay the price for shooting his mouth off. Here, for example, are a few offhand remarks which, once made, may cause Hie speaker to' wish later that he had maintained his golden si- lence: "I "If you think you have such B tough time, why don't you come to the office some day and do my I'll stay home and take care of the kids" "Anything you can do I can do better." "You stay here in the car, and I'll walk to the nearest gas station and get a can. It probably isn't very far, and the fresh air will do me good." "Why do you always serve roast beef hash for dinner the same day I already had it at the office for ONE PUSH TOO MANY "Why don't I go get my car and give you a push to help your car get started It'll probably only take a second." "It sure has been a nice party. Can we give anyone a lift "That sounds like a great idea, boss. Just put my ini- tials on it, and I'll put my de- partment to work on it." "I wouldn't marry you If you were next to-Hie last'man on earth. I'd rather marry him." "Well, of course, we might play charades." "T suppose, like most snotty office hoys, you think that someday you'll be head of Ihe I'll he working for you." "What good are judo hicks to a 120-pound girl like you I'd like to see you try a few of diem on a man my size." "Sure I still love you, honey. If I had just wanted a good cook or a pretty face, you can bet your sweet life I wouldn't have picked you." "No, if something ever hap- pened to you, I doubt if I'd be in any rush to propose to any- one nt least until I got back from the cemetery." The yogurt yogurt lovers love. GOT IT? 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