Year: 1979 Source: Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review, v.16, (1979), p.123-145 SIEC No: 20070564

The author surveys the scattered literature on psychiatric conditions in Polynesia & Micronesia, excluding Hawaii & New Zealand. Suicide seems to be an impulsive response to a distressing event rather than the culmination of a sustained depression. It also tends to be contagious & at times to become epidemic. Research by Hezel on a suicide epidemic, epidemiology, & conditions that precipitate suicidal behaviour in Micronesia is discussed. The challenge for health agencies is to find ways of preserving & strengthening those aspects of traditional culture that alleivated stress while adjusting their own programs to meet the needs of these populations. (10 notes, 74 refs.)