Suicidal behavior during COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq: An analysis of newspaper reports
AbstractBackground: Suicide is a major public health issue that has been under-researched in Iraq, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aim: The study aimed to assess the characteristics, methods, and risk factors of suicidal behavior in Iraq during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: We searched the news reports between April and May 2021 on Google using the term “suicide news in Iraq. We included online newspaper reports of suicidal behavior in Iraq that were published from January 2020 to April 2021.
Results: A total of 156 reports was studied. The majority of reports were published in the Arabic language (59%). Among the newspapers, the majority of the reports were published in the Nalia Radio and Television (NRT) and the shafaqnews (11.5% each). The mean age of the suicidal attempts was 27.69 (±13.78) years ranging from 10-65 years. The majority were male (57.7%), married (18%), student (9.6%), and urban habitant (64.74%). Hanging (31.4%), firearms (22.4%), and fall from height were the leading methods of suicide and familial disharmony (12.8%), mental disorder (9.6%), financial constraints (5.1%), marital discord (3.2%), COVID-19 related factors [like being infected, quarantined] (3.2%) were the leading cause of proximally related factors of suicidal attempts.
Conclusion: The present study suggests that of all suicides during the COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq, the majority are that of young, married, employed males. Furthermore, interpersonal and financial stressors are possible risk factors for suicide in this period.
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