Thursday, March 10, 2011
Surveying suicide worldwide
A team of researchers led by Guilherme Borges from the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico has been looking into patterns and risk factors for suicide using information from the World Health Organisation's World Mental Health Surveys. The surveys were carried out between 2001 and 2007 and involved 108,705 adults from 21 countries. The researchers found that being young, being female, being less well-educated, unemployed, single, suffering from certain mental illnesses, having mentally-ill parents and having had a difficult childhood were all associated with increased suicidal behaviour. Suicide rates were similar in developed and developing countries although they were highest in Lithuania, Belarus and Russia and lower in Muslim countries. Social support and access to weapons or lethal substances were also important risk factors for suicide attempts.