Suicide and attempted suicide among South Asians in England: who is at risk?

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Abstract:

Evidence from both large-scale and small-scale studies suggests differences and similarities in patterns of suicide and attempted suicide between South Asians and the total population in England. Among South Asians, the excess of females among both suicides and attempted suicides is even more marked; the traditional view of a strong family structure among Asians is confirmed, although cultural conflict between generations is apparent. The technique of suicide by burning among Asians appears to be waning. Asians who attempt or complete suicide are more likely to be suffering from stress, but less likely to have been diagnosed as mentally ill. Their psychological problems appear to have been frequently overlooked by general practitioners, or not presented to them. Differences in religion, with Hindus producing higher rates than Muslims, and demographic, geographical, financial and cultural differences, contribute to the need for disaggregation and up-to-date research.

Keywords: ASIAN; ATTEMPTED SUICIDE; SUICIDE

Document Type: Editorial

Affiliations: Retired Lecturer in Public Health and Epidemiology, Imperial College, London, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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