Article Report On Suicide On An Urban Slum Of Mumbai
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Explaining Suicide in an Urban Slum of Mumbai, India
In a sociocultural autopsy done in Malvani (which is in a suburb of Mumbai) researchers wanted to examine the causes and circumstances of suicide in the community as accurately as possible through the eyes of surviving relatives or good friends of the deceased. This was interesting to me because they were not only examining mental health issues, but also other potential causes for suicide such as poverty, physical or verbal abuse, chronic disease, or even superstition. I was also fascinated by certain facts in the study such as 73% of the worlds suicides being in developing nations with half of that number in China and India, or that self-immolation was the most frequent method of suicide in this community. Their goal was to use methods such as “cultural epidemiology“(2) to find out how not only more commonly perceived causes like mental health may have pushed these people to suicide, but also how environmental factors could have done so as well. They also wanted to get qualitative and quantitative data that reflects both the deceased’s environment and underlying issues (such as addiction or a mental disorder) in an attempt to create a database of factors contributing to suicide.
The area the study was conducted in is a migrant community where problems like poverty, addiction, and unsanitary living conditions are prevalent. The suicide rate there is “12.0 per 100,000, with a notable male:female ratio of 1:1.45.” (2) Which is much higher than in more developed nations. The researchers used an Explanatory Model Interview Catalog (EMIC) which is an interview that focuses on multiple things including how different people with the problem can be grouped, descriptions...
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...s in changing that behavior over the long term. It would be good if they could treat them for other risk factors such as poverty, but sadly that would be far more challenging and is outside the realm of mental health, although not necessarily entirely unrelated. A potential study that this study identifies as being necessary is one into the “Accounts of survivors may also be shaped by their relationship to the deceased, suggesting the need to compare different respondents for an index suicide.” (7) Finally a study into the perception that people commit suicide for supernatural reasons would be very interesting to me as well.
Parkar, Shubhangi R., Balkrishna Nagarsekar, and Mitchell G. Weiss. "Explaining Suicide In An Urban Slum Of Mumbai, India: A Sociocultural Autopsy." Crisis: The Journal Of Crisis Intervention And Suicide Prevention 30.4 (2009): 192