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May 2022

Suicide attempts among Inuit youth: A community survey of prevalence and risk factors

Author(s): Malus, M., Boothroyd, L. J.

Journal/Book: Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1996; 94: 35 Norre Sogade, PO Box 2148, DK-1016 Copenhagen, Denmark. Munksgaard Int Publ Ltd. 8-17.

Abstract: Thr prevalence of and risk factors fur attempted suicide and suicidal ideation were examined with a survey of 99 Inuit, aged 14-25 years, residing in a community in Northern (Quebec. A total of 34% of survey respondents reported a previous suicide attempt, and 20% had attempted suicide more than once. A suicide attempt had resulted in injury in about 11% of those surveyed. The prevalence of suicidal ideation was also very high: 43% of subjects reported past thoughts of suicide, and 26% had had suicidal thoughts during the month before the survey. Risk factors for suicide attempts included male gender, having a friend who had attempted or committed suicide, a history of being physically abused, a history of solvent abuse, and having a parent with an alcohol or drug problem. Protective factors included a family history of having received treatment Eor a psychiatric problem, more frequent church attendance, and a high level of academic achievement. While individuals in the community who are at high risk for suicide can be targeted for preventive measures, the high prevalence and effect of family problems on likelihood of suicide attempts indicate the need fur family- and community-based approaches.

Note: Article LJ Kirmayer, Inst Community & Family Psychiat, 4333 Cote St Catherine Rd, Montreal, Pq H3T 1E4, Canada

Keyword(s): suicide attempt; risk factor; epidemiology; ADOLESCENTS

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