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Saudi Arabia: Suicide Rate on the Rise - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- An official at Jeddah’s Forensic Medical Centre has revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that there are approximately 266 suicide cases in Saudi of which 100 were Saudi nationals, both male and female, which accounts for 37.6 percent of all cases.

The official, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, is a practising doctor at the centre. He disclosed that suicide rates have been on a steady increase on an annual basis and added, “The latest statistics, issued in 2006 (of which Asharq Al-Awsat has obtained a copy) indicate that there were 266 cases of suicide; 212 males, which makes up 79.7 percent of all cases while females constitute 20.3 percent.”

The census also revealed that of the 100 suicide cases among Saudi nationals; 82 are males and 18 female, while suicide rates among other nationalities were 160 cases, which accounts for 60.2 percent and of which 124 are male and 36 are female. There were also six cases of unidentified males.

Meanwhile, a report issued by the Forensic Medical Centre stated that “the number of deaths resulting from murder or suspicious circumstances is estimated at 295 cases, of which 259 are male and 36 are female. Of the total 295, 134 are Saudi males, (52.5 percent) and 21 of the cases are Saudi female (13.5 percent).

The statistics also revealed that 303 cases were accidental deaths while 93 people died of unknown causes. Mohammed al Saadi, a social worker in Jeddah confirmed that suicide rates are increasing from one year to another. He added that among the main reasons that lead to suicide are weak faith and a sense of overwhelming pressure where a person cannot cope and thus sinks into a deep depression that leads to suicide or attempts at it. He also stated that suicide stems from social, psychological and economic reasons and that many drug addicts commit suicide.

Al Saadi explained that, “The reasons for committing suicide differ among men and women inasmuch as they are different between Saudi nationals and other nationalities. For example, among the other nationalities some of the causes are related to lovers’ problems and arguments so that suicide seems to be the only solution. As for Saudi nationals, suicide cases are present in all the different classes and are usually prompted by social causes. For women, the cause for suicide is most likely to be pressure and persecution by a man, whether a husband, father or brother.”

“Women usually commit suicide through milder means such as overdosing on pills or drinking a toxic household product, while the men hang themselves, OD, or in some cases turn the gun on themselves.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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