Montana professor to study how Finland reduced suicide rate

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A professor at Montana State University Billings will spend five months in Finland to study how the northern European country cut its suicide rate by half.

The Billings Gazette reports sociology professor Joy Honea was selected last month for a Fulbright scholar grant that will send her to the University of Tampere in Finland in the fall.

Honea says the rate of suicides in Finland was once as high as Montana's rate.

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According to recent figures, Montana led the U.S. in the number of suicides each year at 29.2 per 100,000 people.

Finland had a rate of 30 per 100,000 people in the late 1980s.

Honea says the country's rate dropped to 20 per 100,000 people by 2000. It's now fewer than 14 per 100,000 people.