Suicide ideation continues to be high in Swiss young adults

Young Adult Survey Switzerland2019 – Band 2 front screenshot

08.07.2019 – Suicide ideation is a well-known risk factor contributing to early mortality in young adults. The long-term project, «Young Adult Survey Switzerland» (YASS) 2014/15 has shown that the proportion of Swiss young men with suicidal thoughts has since 2010/11 remained fairly stable, and high, at about 12%.

Positive educational experiences appear to be an important resource for mental health. But suicidal thoughts occur especially frequently in young men who feel overwhelmed not only in their work but in education or training that involves repeating school years or assignment to special classes. Family capital – an aggregate of the economic, cultural, and social resources in the family – is also associated with suicidal ideation, which is higher among young adults in families with low family capital than it is among those whose families have high family capital.

Mental health problems are social problems. Policy and planning in all relevant sectors, in particular education and training, should address this fact and implement measures to reduce the prevalence of suicidal ideation. The findings of YASS offer a foundation on which to build successful youth policy.

ISPM is one of the core participants in the YASS consortium. Among its other contributions, ISPM has contributed questionnaire development and data analysis, and Thomas Abel has led the YASS topic «Health and Sport».