Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(4), 1135-1158; doi:10.3390/ijerph9041135
Review

Suicide Methods in Asia: Implications in Suicide Prevention

1 Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, 2F Medical Humanity Building, No. 1, Section 1, Ren-Ai Road, Zhong Zheng District, Taipei 10051, Taiwan 2 Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 1, Changde Street, Zhong Zheng District, Taipei 10048, Taiwan 3 Taipei City Psychiatric Center, Taipei City Hospital, 309 Songde Road, XinYi District, Taipei 11080, Taiwan 4 Institute of Public Health and Department of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, No. 155, Section 2, Linong Street, Bei Tou District, Taipei 11221, Taiwan 5 Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong 6 Hong Kong Jockey Club Center for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 February 2012; in revised form: 13 March 2012 / Accepted: 20 March 2012 / Published: 28 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
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Abstract: As the largest continent in the World, Asia accounts for about 60% of World suicides. Preventing suicide by restricting access to suicide methods is one of the few evidence-based suicide prevention strategies. However, there has been a lack of systematic exploration of suicide methods in Asian countries. To amend this shortage, the current review examines the leading suicide methods in different Asian countries, their trend, their age- and sex- specific characteristics, and their implications for suicide prevention. In total, 42 articles with leading suicide methods data in 17 Asian countries/regions were retrieved. The epidemiologic characteristics and recent trends of common suicide methods reflect specific socio-cultural, economic, and religious situations in the region. Common suicide methods shift with the introduction of technologies and constructions, and have specific age- or sex-characteristics that may render the restriction of suicide methods not equally effective for all sex and age sub-groups. Charcoal burning, pesticide poisoning, native plant poisoning, self-immolation, and jumping are all prominent examples. In the information society, suicide prevention that focuses on suicide methods must monitor and control the innovation and spread of knowledge and practices of suicide “technologies”. It may be more cost-effective to design safety into technologies as a way of suicide prevention while there is no rash of suicides yet by the new technologies. Further research on suicide methods is important for public health approaches to suicide prevention with sensitivity to socio-cultural, economic, and religious factors in different countries.
Keywords: suicide; suicide method; Asia; trend; age; sex; technology; information; media; culture; religion; economic; public health

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, K.-C.; Chen, Y.-Y.; Yip, P.S.F. Suicide Methods in Asia: Implications in Suicide Prevention. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 1135-1158.

AMA Style

Wu K-C, Chen Y-Y, Yip PSF. Suicide Methods in Asia: Implications in Suicide Prevention. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(4):1135-1158.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wu, Kevin Chien-Chang; Chen, Ying-Yeh; Yip, Paul S. F. 2012. "Suicide Methods in Asia: Implications in Suicide Prevention." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 4: 1135-1158.

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