Year: 2020 Source: Crisis. (2020). 41(4), 314-317. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000636 SIEC No: 20200896

Background and aim: We aimed to assess rates and background factors of suicide among unaccompanied minors/youth (10-21 years of age) seeking asylum in Sweden in 2017, and to compare these rates with rates in the Swedish general population of the same age. Method: Data were collected and validated using information from four governmental agencies and two nongovernmental organizations. Suicide rates were calculated for 100,000 individuals. Results: The suicide rate was 51.2 per 100,000 among unaccompanied minors/youth, which compares to 6.1 per 100,000 in the host population. Characteristics of asylum seekers who died by suicide were: male gender (100%) and from Afghanistan (83%). Hanging was the predominant method (60%). Limitations: As estimation of an exact population of asylum seekers is difficult; we overestimated the number of individuals in the population of asylum seekers, resulting in an underestimation of their suicide rates. Conclusion: The suicide rate in unaccompanied minors/youth seeking asylum in 2017 in Sweden can be regarded as very high. Rapid implementation of suicide preventive measures is warranted.