Half a century of suicide studies - A plea for new directions in research and prevention

T. Maniam, Lai Fong Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Suicide studies in Malaysia tend to be repetitive. Data from hospital studies, small scale community surveys and national epidemiological studies over nearly 50 years have consistently shown that there are real ethnic differences in terms of suicides and attempted suicides in this country, though some of these differences appear to be narrowing somewhat. Malays have shown significantly lower rates of suicidal ideas, attempts and completed suicides. Indians, on the other hand, figure prominently at the other end with high rates in all the above parameters. The reasons for these are also necessarily complex. Experience elsewhere from studies of the Indian diaspora have elucidated a number of explanations, which include the effects of poverty, acculturation, alcoholism, the lack of a strong religious protective factor as well as increased rates of mental ill-health. Efforts to contain this public health problem have been somewhat patchy. This has largely depended on efforts by non-government organizations such as the Befrienders whereas the public response lags behind in providing the financial and other resources necessary for a comprehensive national program. This paper reviews the relevant literature and suggest new areas for research as well as steps to provide a fresh impetus to suicide prevention in Malaysia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-402
Number of pages4
JournalSains Malaysiana
Volume42
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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suicide
Malaysia
acculturation
diaspora
alcoholism
public health
poverty
lack
health
resources
community
experience

Keywords

  • Ethnicity
  • Malaysia
  • Risk factors
  • Suicide
  • Suicide prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Half a century of suicide studies - A plea for new directions in research and prevention. / Maniam, T.; Chan, Lai Fong.

In: Sains Malaysiana, Vol. 42, No. 3, 03.2013, p. 399-402.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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