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Suicide prevention in Peru 

Suicide prevention in Peru
Suicide prevention in Peru

Rossana Pettersén

and Freddy Vasquez

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date: 18 May 2022

Peru has a multi-ethnic population and an estimated 28 million inhabitants spread across a national territory, which comprises three principal regions: the coast, the highlands, and the Amazon rainforest.

Peru has started to recover from the effects of two decades of extensive human rights violations due to civil war, which has mentally affected the entire population. There are at least about 22,000 families or 132,000 individuals in need of mental health care as a result of the violence generated by terrorist and military actions. Psychological effects such as prolonged fear, distrust of neighbours, the breakdown of families, loss of property, postponed grief and desperation (Fraser 2004) have contributed to the deterioration of the mental health of the general population, including increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and associated health disorders. The Harvard University Gazette reported that the reduction of the social capital created higher rates of hopelessness, demoralization, diminished quality of life, and waves of forced migration, mainly from rural areas to the cities; and this has had its effect on the mental health of the Peruvian population (Harvard Gazette Archives 2006).

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