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Suicide among refugees: The silent story 

Suicide among refugees: The silent story
Chapter:
Suicide among refugees: The silent story
Author(s):

Lakshmi Vijayakumar

, Sujit John

, and A.T. Jotheeswaran

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198833741.003.0063
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date: 18 May 2021

Suicide is a global public health problem, with the majority of suicides occurring in low- and middle-income countries. The UNHCR reported that in 2017 there were 25.4 million refugees, with the majority (85%) being hosted by developing countries, which have limited infrastructure, healthcare systems, and are often politically and economically unstable. A review of suicidal behaviour among refugees reveals a prevalence of 3.4–40%. Female sex, higher education and socio-economic status, exposure to trauma, presence of psychological disorders, long stay in detention centres, and rejection of asylum status are associated with increased suicidal risk. Globally, data for rates of suicide among refugee groups are not available and any interventions to reduce suicide among refugees have received scant attention. A theoretical model for understanding suicide risk in refugees is proposed in this chapter and the possible interventions discussed.

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