Suicide in Switzerland

In recent years, Switzerland has become internationally known for something which casts a shadow on what is usually considered an outstandingly beautiful and well-run country: suicide.

The fact is, Switzerland has one of the highest rates of suicide in Europe and the world, and there’s hardly a person or family that hasn’t been touched by it, directly or indirectly.

Perhaps most disturbing of all is the phenonenon of young people who take their lives, some as young as 10 and 11 years of age. Switzerland has also made international headlines because of its permisive attitude toward assisted suicide, whch has been attracting increasing numbers of so-called “suicide tourists” from abroad, who seek the “services” of organizations specialized in this.

So what has gone wrong here? Why are the Swiss soul and culture apparently so troubled that so many people decide to end their lives? For a professional insight into this question, Bob Zanotti spoke with Dr. Art Funkhouser (PhD), an American-Swiss psychotherapist trained and teaching in the Jungian tradition, and practicing in Bern.