Suicide Research and Prevention in Developing Countries in Asia and the Pacific

By Milner, Allison; De Leo, Diego | Bulletin of the World Health Organization, October 2010 | Go to article overview

Suicide Research and Prevention in Developing Countries in Asia and the Pacific


Milner, Allison, De Leo, Diego, Bulletin of the World Health Organization


Low-income countries in Asia and the Pacific have the highest burden of suicide in the world. These countries are among the poorest globally, and face many social and political challenges.

Suicide trends in these countries differ from those recorded in Europe and North America. For example, compared to high-income countries where suicide among males is predominant, China, India and Pacific island countries report a proportionately higher number of female suicides. There are also noticeable differences in the age distribution of suicide, with young people at greater risk in India and the Pacific islands and elderly people of growing concern in Asia. As in high-income countries, hanging is among the most common suicide methods; however, a large number of suicide deaths throughout Asia and the Pacific also occur through ingestion of toxic substances, such as agricultural pesticides, and inhalation of burning charcoal filmes. These distinctions between risk groups and suicide methods not only indicate the urgent need for suicide research and intervention, but also raise the question of whether the strategies designed for populations in high-income countries are appropriate for developing countries and culturally diverse settings.

Many low-income countries in this part of the world face challenges such as poverty, poor education, rapid industrialization and limited health services. These countries have a high burden of deaths due to both infectious and noncommunicable diseases. As a consequence, there is very limited availability of resources or professionals needed for suicide research and prevention (e.g. doctors, nurses and mental health specialists). Fragmented data on suicide mean that it is often difficult to have a clear understanding of the size of the problem and to identify specific groups "at risk"

Aside from these practical barriers, reporting of suicidal behaviours may be affected by the complex and often conflicting cultural attitudes towards suicide. Suicide is openly condemned in Muslim countries of the region, a fact related to its explicit prohibition in the Koran. (1) Many Asian cultures hold contradictory attitudes towards suicidal behaviour, where it may be condemned in some circumstances and accepted in others. (2) Women, in particular, are affected by these ambiguous cultural attitudes. Arranged marriages, dowry vindications and unequal rights are some of the most common themes involved in suicidal behaviours of women in India and Muslim countries. (3,4) Family conflict and powerlessness, combined with the easy availability of pesticides, are at the basis of the particularly high rates of suicide in rural Chinese women, (5) and constitute a serious public health concern. The fact that suicide is still considered a criminal offence in several countries (e.g. Tonga) may further impact on the willingness of people to seek treatment for suicide, or to report suicide cases to hospitals or the police. Suicide prevention initiatives need to be specifically developed for each area or country and should consider both contextual limitations (e.g. limited funding and human capital, negative cultural attitudes) and strengths (e.g. motivation to reduce suicide, effective community engagement and support).

In establishing a suicide prevention agenda, researchers and health professionals need to draw attention to the issue at the highest governmental level (e.g. ministry of health). It is also crucial to obtain support (both financial and in human resources) from major stakeholders such as government officials and policymakers, coroners, health professionals, community organizations and police departments.

Suicide mortality data is reported regularly to WHO by only India, Sri Lanka and Thailand (WHO South-East Asia Region) and only Australia, China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Singapore (WHO Western Pacific Region). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Suicide Research and Prevention in Developing Countries in Asia and the Pacific
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.