People with refugee backgrounds do not desire death; that is why they flee their homes and seek refuge in the first place. They are prepared to brave great adversity and peril to move toward a better life. So why then do any forced migrants die by suicide?
In 2017, there were 68.5 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, and only 102,800 (0.15%) were permanently resettled (UNHCR, 2017). Therefore, over 99% of forced migrants worldwide are living in some form of sustained displacement. This state of displacement, and resulting barriers to starting a new fulfilling life, may contribute to a corrosion of resilience, and have an adverse effect on a life worth living (Sundram & Ventevogel, 2017).
This chapter explores from the perspective of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (IPTS; Joiner et al., 2009; Van Orden et al., 2010), how the experiences of forced migrants influence suicide risk and resilience.
SOURCE: Kashyap, S. & Joscelyne, A. “Refugees and suicide: when the quest for a better life becomes thwarted.” Alternatives to Suicide, 31 January 2020.
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