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American Muslims twice more likely to attempt suicide: report

Numbers lower for other religions

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 11, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Aug 11, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Muslims in the US are two times more likely to have attempted suicide than people from other religions, says a study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Nearly 8% of Muslims in the survey reported that they have attempted suicide in their lifetime. The numbers are lower for Catholics at 6%, Protestants 5% and Jews at 3.6%.

“Anecdotally and in clinical settings, we’re definitely seeing an uptick in suicides and suicide attempts,” Dr. Rania Awaad told NPR. She’s the director of the Muslim Mental Health & Islamic Psychology Lab at Stanford University and a researcher on the study.

The researchers said that there are two major reasons for this trend that they are seeing. Muslims in the US are facing religious discrimination and they do not seek help for psychological distress as Muslims themselves as a community stigmatise getting counselling.

Earlier in 2021, people were shocked when two brothers in Texas aged 19 and 21 decided to die by suicide together. They both suffered from depression. They made a pact to kill the rest of their family so they would not have to deal with the pain of their suicides.

NPR reported that American Muslims are more likely to report suicide attempts than Muslims from Muslim-majority countries, according to a Stanford University study. “As a religious minority in the U.S., Muslims are highly vulnerable to religious discrimination, which is associated with depression, anxiety and paranoia,” it said.

Suicide prevention

Here’s what you should do if someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:
• Do not leave the person alone. • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
• Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional
• You can get in touch with the following mental health helplines and speak to them.
Mind Organisation 042 35761999
Umang 0317 4288665 0333 4065139
Baat Karo 0335 5743344
Taskeen 0332 5267936
Rooh 0333 3337664
Rozan 0800-22444
OpenCounseling 042 35761999

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