Epidemiologic characteristics of suicidal behavior in contemporary Ghana
Background: Suicidal behavior receives considerable coverage in African media. Yet, there has been limited empirical research that focuses explicitly on suicidal behavior in African societies, while comprehensive and reliable official data on the phenomenon are limited. Aims: This article contributes to the empirical research on suicidal behavior in African societies by examining police-recorded data on suicidal behavior in Ghana, West Africa. Methods: Official law enforcement data on suicidal behavior spanning 2006-2008 were analyzed to identify current patterns of suicidal behavior in the country. Results: The results indicate that the persons most prone to suicidal behavior were male, young, and poor. The most frequent methods used were hanging, the ingestion of poisons, and shooting. Conclusions: The relatively low rate of recorded suicidal behavior in the society stems partly from the tabooed and criminal aspects of the phenomenon.