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Social Attitudes to Suicide and Suicide Rates

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DOI: 10.4236/jss.2016.410004    814 Downloads   1,040 Views  


Background: Persistence with ineffective suicide prevention together with suicide mortality trends are a concerning commentary on society. Although suicides are committed by individuals, the reasons for individuals contemplating suicide may, at least in part, be due to the socio-economic and socio-political perceptions and attitudes of suicide. A lack of public discussion and suicide education maintains current suicide trends and has led to “more of the same” interventions. Suicide prevention programmes must break the cycle of providing the public with more medical intervention at higher costs in terms of lives lost and in monetary term, and instead, eradicate suicide as a solution. Methods: In this paper we explore suicide as the outcome of a dynamic process of decision making, using the Predicament Questionnaire designed by one of the authors. Results: The results suggest that the association between adverse life events and suicide as a solution is well established in the public mindset. In other words, social perception of suicide as a solution to a problem can help maintain or raise suicide rates. Conclusions: Suicide must be openly and responsibly debated to remove the myth and stigma surrounding it. We recommend the grassroots approach to suicide prevention. Further research in replicating the survey questionnaire is needed.

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Pridmore, S. , Varbanov, S. , Aleksandrov, I. and Shahtahmasebi, S. (2016) Social Attitudes to Suicide and Suicide Rates. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 4, 39-58. doi: 10.4236/jss.2016.410004.


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