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Epidemiology of attempted suicides in Southern Sri Lanka


P. A. A. Chandrasiri ,

Ministry of Health, LK
About P. A. A.
Management Development and Planning Unit
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A. Lokubalasuriya,

Ministry of Health, LK
About A.
Family Health Bureau
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R. Hettiarachchi

Ministry of Health, LK
About R.
Nutrition Coordination Division
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Introduction: Suicides are emerging as an important public health issue globally. Suicide rate in Sri Lanka is higher than the global figure and is around 20 per 100,000 population. Knowledge on characteristics of subjects who attempt suicide will help to strengthen prevention programs. The aim of this study was to describe characteristics of patients who admitted following attempted suicides.


Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was performed using an interviewer administered questionnaire in General hospital Hambantota, which is a tertiary care institute in southern Sri Lanka.


Results: Total sample consisted of 105 subjects. Mean age was 25.5 (SD 11.93) and 56.2% were females. Except 4 subjects the rest were Sinhala Buddhists. Majority had only secondary education (71.4%), were not employed (55.2%) and belong to nuclear families (79.0%).Though majority admitted an access to help (65.7%), had good relationship with parents (73.3%) and socially connected, there were 15.3 % with past history of suicidal attempts and 64.7% had exposed to suicidal acts in media. There were 6.7% with depression who were all females and 5.7% with alcohol dependence who were all males. Though 56.1% reported recent stressful life events, only 27.6 % had mentioned about recent disputes in a relationship.


Conclusions: Identification of vulnerable groups is of utmost importance in planning public health strategies to prevent attempted suicides. Preventive strategies should be specifically focused on those groups. Utilization of available support, improving personal skills to cope with daily stressors and relationship disputes should be promoted.
How to Cite: Chandrasiri, P.A.A., Lokubalasuriya, A. and Hettiarachchi, R., 2018. Epidemiology of attempted suicides in Southern Sri Lanka. Galle Medical Journal, 23(1), pp.7–14. DOI:
Published on 30 Mar 2018.
Peer Reviewed


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