Suicide in Flanders, Belgium, after terrorist attacks

Roel Van Overmeire, Yori Gidron, Stefaan Six, Reginald Deschepper, Marie Vandekerckhove, Johan Bilsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known about the association between terrorism and suicide. This study investigates suicide numbers in Flanders, Belgium before and after the Paris-attacks (13/11/2015) and Brussels-attacks (22/03/2016). Population mortality data for suicide were gathered from the Agency for healthcare. Suicides in Flanders, Belgium, were higher after both attacks. The increase was higher after the Paris-attacks, compared to the attacks in Brussels, Belgium. The effect of a close-by, but still foreign attack (the Paris-attacks in France) on suicide numbers is larger than that of an attack inside the country (the Brussels-attacks), possibly due to a difference in threat experience and coping possibilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1507-1513
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been funded by Innoviris, the Brussels institute for research and innovation in Belgium (BRGPRO1). Data was provided by the Agency for Care and Health. We wish to thank An Janssen for her contribution in accessing the data.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Terrorism
  • epidemiology
  • stress
  • suicide
  • traumatic stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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