County in Sweden’s North has best mental health in country

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Fireworks over Umea, the capital of Sweden's Västerbotten country. (iStock)
Fireworks over Umea, the capital of Sweden’s Västerbotten country. (iStock)
People living in Sweden’s northern county of Västerbotten enjoy the best mental health in Sweden, Swedish Radio News reports.

This is based on a mental health index compiled by the organization Mind, using statistics from the Swedish Public Health Agency and Statistics Sweden.

Among the factors included are the numbers of suicides per 100,000 inhabitants, as well as personal health evaluations.

The organization’s Secretary General, Carol von Essen, tells Swedish Radio News that the better showing in Västerbotten may be because the local health authorities there offer frequent medical examinations, and because of the area’s strong tradition of membership in clubs and other organizations.

But the study also reveals a strong link between mental health and unemployment. Solveig Landquist of the adult psychiatry unit in Västmanland county says there is connection between the area’s high incidence of suicide last year and the perceived risk of lay-offs, unemployment, or loss of unemployment benefits.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  The elephant in the room – Mental health in Arctic communities, Blog by Heather Exner-Pirot

Finland:  OECD ‘concerned’ over high suicide rates in Finland, YLE News

Sweden: Bus drivers slam light therapy for commuters in Sweden’s North, Radio Sweden

United States:  In Northwest Arctic, teens lead the way in suicide prevention, Alaska Dispatch

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