Wednesday 23 June 2021

Workplace Bullying and Relationship Problems Leading Costa Rican Men To Suicide

Suicides among Costa Rica’s males has increased over the years, according to specialists and studies by Poder Judicial, despite personal problems the continuing main reasaon, following is the trend of increased workplace bullying.

estresAccording to data from the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), suicides was fourth in the list of violent deaths in 2012. The data shows that during the last decade there have been between 300 and 400 suicides a year, of which 80% was by men.

Last year the OIJ recorded 322 suicides of which 273 were men. San José is the the province with the largest incidence of suicides, one third of all suicides occurring in the capital city.

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“Overall more women attempt suicide but, more men complete it…in the last four months there has been an increase in relationship problems and we’ve noticed an increase in workplace bullying”, said psychologist and Poderl Judicial expert, Kattia Quirós.

Quiros commented that studies show that 20% of the suicides last year were caused by bullying.


Firearms are used less often for suicide, hanging is more common as a method for suicide in Costa Rica. Suicide rates do not increase with age in Costa Rica.

– US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health


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The psychologist says that over the years Costa Rican society has not allowed men to blow off steam and form support groups. “Not having an opportunity to vent…men do not have the opportunity to talk out their problems”, said Quiros.

According to a study by the Grupo de Investigación en Salud Mental de la Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) – university research group – funding for mental health programs are very limited and focused only on hospital care, a condition that leads to little prevention nationwide.

“The person is not receiving the intervention needed…is prevented from committing suicide but the cause of the problem not attacked…what we are talking about here is a failure of the system”, said Quiros, who added that many professionals are in a fight to bring about change.

Appointments for suicide risk patients should be up to three times a week, costing up to ¢90.000 colones (US$180 dollars).  Most cannot afford it.

“In the CSS (Social Security) we have a bunch of people, the appointments would be every six months…yes, we are failing”, said the expert.

Map of International Suicide Rates
Map of International Suicide Rates. Source:

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World Health Organization (WHO
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1999, suicide is among the top ten causes of death for all age groups in North America and the majority of northern and western European countries; it represents 1 to 2 percent of total mortality.

Epidemiological knowledge about suicide in the world is limited to countries that report suicide statistics to WHO. The majority of countries in Africa, the central part of South America, and a number of Asian countries do not report data on suicides…classifying suicides as unintentional poisonings, drownings, or undetermined deaths is not unusual.




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