A qualitative analysis of self-harm and suicide in Sri Lankan printed newspapers

Background: Media reporting may influence suicidal behavior. In-depth exploration of how self-harm and suicide are portrayed in newspaper articles in a middle-income country such as Sri Lanka is lacking. Aims: We aimed to explore how self-harm and suicide are portrayed in Sri Lankan printed newspapers. Method: Seven English- and Sinhala-language Sri Lankan newspapers were screened for articles reporting on self-harm […]

Emerging pesticides responsible for suicide in rural Sir Lanka following the 2008-2014 pesticide bans

Background Sri Lanka has reduced its overall suicide rate by 70% over the last two decades through regulation of a series of agricultural pesticides. We aimed to identify the key pesticide(s) now responsible for suicides in rural Sri Lanka to provide data for further pesticide regulation. Methods We performed a secondary analysis of data collected […]

Self-harm and suicide coverage in Sri Lankan newspapers: An analysis of the compliance with recommended guidelines

Background: Irresponsible media reporting may influence suicidal behavior. Adherence to guidelines for responsible reporting of suicide has not been examined in Sri Lanka in recent times. Aims: To examine the quality of reporting on self-harm and suicide in Sri Lankan newspapers and compare the quality between Sinhala and English newspapers. Method: From December 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015, 407 […]

Cross-cultural generalizability of suicide first aid actions: An analysis of agreement across expert consensus studies from a range of countries and cultures.

Background: A number of Delphi expert consensus studies have been carried out with different countries and cultural groups to develop guidelines on how a member of the public should provide assistance to a person who is suicidal. The present study aimed to determine whether cross-culturally generalizable suicide first aid actions are possible by comparing agreement across […]

Attempted suicide in Sri Lanka–An epidemiological study of household and community factors.

Background: An individual’s suicide risk is determined by personal characteristics, but is also influenced by their environment. Previous studies indicate a role of contextual effects on suicidal behaviour, but there is a dearth of quantitative evidence from Asia. Methods: Individual and community level data were collected on 165,233 people from 47,919 households in 171 communities […]

The impact of pesticide regulations on suicide in Sri Lanka.

Background Between 1950 and 1995 suicide rates in Sri Lanka increased eight fold to a peak of 47 per 100,000 in 1995. By 2005 rates had halved. Our aim was to evaluate whether Sri Lanka’s regulatory controls on the import and sale of pesticides that are particularly toxic to humans were responsible for these changes […]

Suicide first aid guidelines for Sri Lanka: A Delphi consensus study.

Sri Lanka has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Gatekeeper programs aimed at specific target groups could be a promising suicide prevention strategy in the country. The aim of this study was to develop guidelines that help members of the public to provide first aid to persons in Sri Lanka who are […]

Cost-effectiveness analyses of self-harm strategies at reducing the mortality of pesticide self-poisonings in Sri Lanka: A study protocol.

An estimated 803 900 people worldwide died as a result of self-harm in 2012. The deliberate ingestion of pesticides has been identified as the method most frequently used to commit fatal self-harm globally. In Sri Lanka, it is estimated that up to 60% of all suicides are committed using this method. The aim of the present […]

Cost-effectiveness analyses of self-harm strategies aimed at reducing the mortality of pesticide self-poisonings in Sri Lanka: A study protocol.

An estimated 803 900 people worldwide died as a result of self-harm in 2012. The deliberate ingestion of pesticides has been identified as the method most frequently used to commit fatal self-harm globally. In Sri Lanka, it is estimated that up to 60% of all suicides are committed using this method. The aim of the present […]

Non-fatal self-poisoning in Sri Lanka: Associated triggers and motivations.

Attempted or non-fatal self-poisoning is common in Sri Lanka. To date, most preventive strategies have focused on limitation of access to toxic pesticides, which has reduced the rates of fatal self-poisoning. However the ongoing phenomenon of non-fatal self-poisoning indicates the need for exploration of alternate preventive strategies. Self-poisoning in Sri Lanka has been described as […]

Suffering, frustration and anger: Class, gender and history in Sri Lankan suicide stories.

This paper explores competing stories of suffering, frustration and anger that shape the performance and reception of suicidal behaviours in contemporary Sri Lanka. Drawing from the results of 21 months of ethnographic fieldwork, I show how suicidal acts fit within broader narratives of class and gender experience and expression that draw from contemporary and historical […]

Deliberate self-harm/poisoning, suicide trends.The link to increased alcohol consumption in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has witnessed a fall in suicide rates in the period 1991 to 2010, however the incidence of self-harm remains high. Over the same period alcohol consumption has increased for both alcohol that is purchased legally and distilled privately. This paper investigates a number of secondary data sets from such bodies as the Department […]

Study of Suicides Reported to the Coroner in Colombo, Sri Lanka

All deaths ruled suicide by the Coroner’s Court in Colombo in 2006 were studied. Close relations or friends who attended the inquest were interviewed. 151 suicides were documented, 93 were by men. The majority were aged between 20-29 years. One-third of victims were unemployed. At the time of death, 75% of victims were living with […]

Effect of the 2004 Tsunami on Suicide Rates in Sri Lanka

The effect of the 2004 tsuanmi on suicide rates in Sri Lanka were investigated. The number of suicides in the 2 years prior & 1 year after the tsunami were examined. Data from districts affected by the tsunami were compared with those from unaffected districts. No significant differences were found between the number of suicides […]

A Hospital-Based Study on Trends in Deliberate Self-Harm in Children and Adolescents

In this letter to the editor, the authors discuss children & adolescents who were admitted to the Teaching Hospital in Karapitiya (Sri Lanks) following deliberate self-harm. Admissions for deliberate self-harm increased by 91% from 2001 to 2007 with girls accounting for most of this increase. Admissions for deliberate self-harm increased consistently with age. Admissions after […]

Psychological Autopsy Study of Suicide in Three Rural and Semi-Rural Districts of Sri Lanka

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Increased use of Medicinal Drugs in Self-Harm in Urban Areas in Sri Lanka

This study described substances used in overdose & the characteristics of patients admitted with medicinal drug overdose in an urban tertiary care hospital in Colombo. A descriptive study of 191 patients admitted with intentional self-poisoning was carried out. Medicinal drugs were the most common substance used in overdose. Those who used medicinal drugs were mainly […]

Suicide, Homicide, and Social Structure in Ceylon (IN: Personality and Social Systems, edited by N J Smelser & W T Smelser)

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Examining Student Perspectives on Suicidal Behaviour and its Prevention in Sri Lanka

This article describes a qualitative study of student perspectives on suicidal behaviour & its prevention. Focus groups were held with students 17-20 years of age. A discussion of the perceived causes of suicidal behaviour provided the context for discussing prevention efforts. Participants identified pathways to suicidal behaviour & emphasized experiential aspects & the variability of […]

Pattern of Pesticide Storage Before Pesticide Self-Poisoning in Rural Sri Lanka

Patients who had self-poisoned with pesticides & who were admitted to adult medical wards were interviewed by study doctors to identify the source of the pesticides they ingested. Of the 669 patients included in the study, 425 were male. In 511 cases, the pesticides had been stored either inside or immediately outside the house; among […]

Commentary: Preventing Suicide: Need for a Life Course Approach

In this commentary, the author addresses an article by Gunnell et al (2007) on the impact of pesticide regulations on suicide in Sri Lanka. Patel welcomes the addition of this study to the research being accrued from developing countries. (9 refs.)

Self-Poisoning in Rural Sri Lanka: Small-Area Variations in Incidence

This study investigated small-area variation in self-poisoning incidence in Sri Lanka & its association with area-based socioeconomic & agricultural factors. The overall incidence of intentional self-poisoning in the study area in 2002 was 315 per 100,000. Socioeconomic disadvantage, as indexed by poor housing quality & low levels of education but not unemployment, was associated with […]

Completed Suicide Among Sinhalese in Sri Lanka: a Psychological Autopsy Study

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