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Finland Pioneers International Suicide Prevention

Jennifer Fisher Wilson
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(10):853-856. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-140-10-200405180-00037
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Many of Finland's suicide researchers work in a modular glass and concrete building just outside the center of Helsinki. It houses the National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health. The new building has created some controversy among the staff not only because it is painted the color of bright-green grass but also because a look down from the top floor of the 8-story building reveals a dizzying spiral of stairs leading all the way to the ground floor. “How could they build a place like this for suicide researchers to work? Nothing bad has happened yet, but I worry. Someone could jump at any time,” said psychologist Maila Upanne, PhD, peering down. In Finland, a country that has long suffered one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, Upanne's fears are hardly immaterial. “If you're studying suicide, you've come to the right place,” Upanne said.

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