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Epidemiology of Suicide and the Psychiatric Perspective
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Suicide Risk among Immigrants and Ethnic Minorities: A Literature Overview

1
Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Sensory Organs, Suicide Prevention Center, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, 00189 Rome, Italy
2
Psychiatry Residency Training Program, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00189 Rome, Italy
3
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
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Psychiatric Department, Azienda USL Toscana Sud-Est, 53100 Siena, Italy
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Department of Psychiatry, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, 80138 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1438; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071438
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 5 July 2018 / Published: 8 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Risk and Mental Disorders)
Recent studies have demonstrated that immigrants and ethnic minorities may be at higher risk of suicidal behaviour as compared to the general population. We conducted a literature search to identify studies in English from 1980 to 2017 related to suicide risk among immigrants and ethnic minorities. Six hundred and seventy-eight reports were screened, and 43 articles were included in the qualitative synthesis of the review. Some studies reported lower rates of suicide attempts, while other findings suggested higher rates of suicidal behaviour and deaths among immigrants as compared to the native population. Also, a positive correlation was found between suicidal behaviour and specific countries of origin. Non-European immigrant women were at the highest risk for suicide attempts, a group which included young women of South Asian and black African origin. Risk factors among migrants and ethnic minorities were found to be: language barriers, worrying about family back home, and separation from family. The lack of information on health care system, loss of status, loss of social network, and acculturation were identified as possible triggers for suicidal behaviour. Overall, results suggest that specific migrant populations and ethnic minorities present a higher risk of suicidal behaviour than native populations, as well as a higher risk of death by suicide. View Full-Text
Keywords: immigrants; ethnic minorities; suicide; prevention immigrants; ethnic minorities; suicide; prevention
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Forte, A.; Trobia, F.; Gualtieri, F.; Lamis, D.A.; Cardamone, G.; Giallonardo, V.; Fiorillo, A.; Girardi, P.; Pompili, M. Suicide Risk among Immigrants and Ethnic Minorities: A Literature Overview. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1438.

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