Suicide in Latin America: a growing public health issue

Franco Mascayano, Matias Irrazabal, Wyatt D Emilia, Binoy Shah, Sidney Jane Vaner, Jaime C Sapag, Ruben Alvarado, Lawrence Hsin Yang

Resumen


Introduction: Suicide has become an international public mental health challenge, resulting in a need for interventions to address it as an individual, family, and community levels. The current scope review assesses
trends regarding suicide within Latin America and the Caribbean: risk factors, protective factors, and mediators of suicidal ideation and behavior. Body: Our review is split into three sections, as a way of addressing the complex topic of suicide in an organized, comprehensive manner: (i) epidemiology of suicide in Latin America and Caribbean; (ii) factors associated to suicide ideation and attempts; and (iii) cultural factors as a predictors and mediators of suicide. Further, proper evidence about the association between suicide and
cultural dimensions such as Familismo, Machismo/Marianismo, Religion and Acculturation is provided. Conclusion: Upon analyzing trends of and factors associated with suicide, we offer recommendations regarding future studies and intervention programs. We conclude that interventions and research should be based on and in response to cultural values and norms related to suicide within each community, in order to make more culturally-specific programs.


Resumen
Introducción: El suicidio se ha convertido en un desafío para la salud pública internacional, resultando en una necesidad por intervenciones que lo aborden desde diferentes niveles: individual, familiar y comunitario. La presente revisión narrativa evalúa las tendencias respecto al suicidio dentro de Latino América y el Caribe: factores de riesgo, factores protectores y mediadores de la ideación y conducta suicida. Desarrollo: nuestra revisión se divide en tres secciones, con el fin de abordar comprensiva y organizadamente este complejo fenómeno: (i) epidemiología del suicidio en Latina América y el Caribe; (ii) factores asociados a la ideación e intentos suicidas; y (iii) factores culturales como predictores y mediadores del suicidio. Adicionalmente, se provee apropiada evidencia respecto a la asociación entre suicidio y dimensiones culturales como el Familismo, el Machismo/Marianismo, la Religion y la Aculturación. Conclusiones: En base a las tendencias analizadas y los factores asociados al suicido, se ofrecen recomendaciones respecto a futuros estudios y programas de intervención. Concluimos que tanto la intervención como el estudio del suicidio debe basarse y estar en respuesta de los valores y normas culturales que se asocian en cada comunidad, en orden de generar programas que estén culturalmente mejor adaptados.


Palabras clave


suicidio; factores de riesgo; Epidemiologìa, cultura, América Latina

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