Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Doctor Says Families Should Do More to Avert Suicides

by Arjuwan Lakkdawala from Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

Dr. Ibrahim Saig, internal medicine resident at Future Hospital in Jeddah, said the hospital receives about 120 suicide attempts annually. He says that larger hospitals have more cases, and that even smaller private and government clinics receive cases regularly. “Ninety percent of those who attempt suicide are females aged between 14 and 25,” said Saig ... “The high suicide rate as I’ve noted is not just in the expatriate community but among Saudis as well,” he said. In response to what he says is a persistent problem in Saudi Arabia, Saig co-founded an awareness-raising organization called No to Suicide in October. The club engages in outreach program at local college campuses and there are plans to take the cause to the Internet to spread awareness in other Muslim countries. Family pressure is a key factor behind many suicide attempts. N.G., a 30-year-old Saudi woman, said that it was family treatment that pushed her to attempt suicide. Even afterward, she said, the family berated her. “They accused me of bringing shame to them,” said N.G.

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