Mental health complaints on rise in Turkey: Ministry

Mental health complaints on rise in Turkey: Ministry

Turan Yılmaz - ANKARA
Mental health complaints on rise in Turkey: Ministry

The number of applications filed to health institutions over psychological complaints jumped 27.7 percent between 2011 and 2016, exceeding 12.1 million people, according to official figures.

More than 9 million people applied to health institutions over such complaints in the first eight months of this year, the Health Ministry said in a response to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Ali Haydar Hakverdi.

The applications in the three largest cities of the country – Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir – stood for nearly one third of all, Hakverdi told daily Hürriyet.

However, when the ratio of the applications to the overall population is considered, the Black Sea provinces of Trabzon and Rize top the list, with Edirne, Bartın and Yalova following them.

The least number of applications were in the southeastern and eastern provinces of Şırnak, Hakkari, Muş, Van and Bitlis, according to the data.

Citizens consumed nearly 224.8 million boxes of antidepressants or their equivalents in four and a half years, the data showed. Pill consumption increased nearly 17 percent in four years.

The Health Ministry figures also pointed to a sharp rise in addiction treatment, with 1.8 million people in a decade. This figure, which excludes tobacco addiction, refers to a more than 640 percent increase in 10 years.

The figures also mapped the suicide and suicide attempt incidents across the country.

In the past five years, 60,850 people attempted suicide, with 16,028 of them killing themselves.

The provinces of Ardahan, Tunceli and Bingöl in the east, Edirne in the northwest and Burdur in the south topped the suicide list.

The least suicide incidents were in Gümüşhane and Bayburt in the north.

Between 2012 and September 2017, 2,423 people attempted to commit suicide in prisons, with 286 of them killing themselves.

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