In 2018, Costa Rica’s emergency services received nearly 7,000 calls related to suicides, according to data published by the Ministry of Health.
In an effort to combat the country’s rising suicide rate, the College of Psychology Professionals of Costa Rica, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Education, has launched a nationwide suicide prevention campaign titled Aquí estoy (“Here I am”).
The effort “aims to raise awareness and educate the population about the importance of identifying and knowing how to listen to people with suicide risk, as well as showing that there are spaces, close and professional support,” according to the Ministry of Health.
The campaign includes educational videos and written information to help Costa Ricans “become a support network for people at risk of suicide.” It also promotes a phone number dedicated to suicide prevention (+506 2272-3774).
“We want to emphasize that we are convinced that all people can be agents of change, bearers of a hopeful message, to make our country a place where all people are well, to accompany people who are struggling and to connect them to life,” said Oscar Valverde Cerros, President of the College of Psychology Professionals of Costa Rica, in a statement.
The national suicide rate in Costa Rica rose to 7.2 per 100,000 people in 2018, according to government data, though the numbers are significantly higher for teenagers.
Below are confidential resources available in Costa Rica if you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support:
- Aquí Estoy: +506 2272-3774
- Staffed Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- ACEPS (Association for the Prevention of Suicide and Risk Behavior): +506 4081-9326
- National Psychiatric Hospital: +506 2232-2155
- For crisis response at all hours, call 9-1-1.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (United States): +1 800-273-8255