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Suicides highest amid young Indians in Malaysia

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Kuala Lumpur: The suicide count among youths in Malaysia is highest among males of Indian descent, a new study discloses.

“The suicide rate among youths was 1.03 per 100,000 population in 2009, accounting for the male gender (66.0 per cent), with Indians being the highest suicide completers (40.4 per cent and 5.6 per 100,000 population),” a recent study published in the Asia-Pacific Psychiatry journal has revealed.

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“The most-common method of suicide was hanging (56.6 per cent) followed by self-poisoning (15.1 per cent),” malaysiandigest.com news portal reported, citing the study.

Another study, published in The Scientific World Journal in 2014, had echoed the same, saying that the Indian population in Malaysia makes up the largest percentage of people who attempt suicide.

The article said from 1969 to 2011, Indians had the highest suicide attempt rates at 3.67 per 100,000. The Chinese followed at 2.44 per 100,000 and Malays had rates as low as 0.32 per 100,000.

“Some of the risk factors among Malaysian Indians which could explain the higher number of suicide attempts in this group are poverty (a majority of Indians are from the lower social class) and alcoholism,” the researchers highlighted.

Photo credit: www.emirates247.com
Photo credit: www.emirates247.com

Also, psychiatry morbidity, caste issues, other social distress, cultural and religious factors and attitude to suicide contributed to the cases.

“On the other hand, it is much more difficult for Muslim Malays to attempt suicide since it is against their religion,” the researchers added.

“Education also contributed to some differences; 89 per cent of the studies showed that suicide attempters had secondary level of education compared to primary and tertiary,” researchers noted.

In 2015, some high profile suicide cases which grabbed media attention involved Malaysian Indians.

In May, an Indian journalist had jumped in front of a train and was killed.

In another case, a woman shot a video threatening revenge– in the form of killing her child– from her grave before committing suicide.

The video went viral and on the same weekend, her one-year-old daughter died.

With inputs from IANS

Next Story

New AI can Reduce Risk of Suicide Among Youth

AI can help prevent suicide among youth

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Researchers from USC developed an AI that can prevent suicide risks among youth. Lifetime Stock

In a bid to help mitigate the risk of suicide especially among the homeless youth, a team of researchers at University of California (USC) has turned their focus towards Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Phebe Vayanos, an associate director at USC’s Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society (CAIS), and her team have been working over the last couple of years to design an algorithm capable of identifying who in a given real-life social group would be the best persons to be trained as “gatekeepers” capable of identifying warning signs of suicide and how to respond.

“Our idea was to leverage real-life social network information to build a support network of strategically positioned individuals that can ‘watch-out’ for their friends and refer them to help as needed,” Vayanos said.

Vayanos and study’s lead author Aida Rahmattalabi investigated the potential of social connections such as friends, relatives and acquaintances to help mitigate the risk of suicide.

“We want to ensure that a maximum number of people are being watched out for, taking into account resource limitations and uncertainties of open world deployment,” Vayanos said.

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The AI algorithm can improve the efficiency of suicide prevention trainings. Lifetime Stock

For this study, Vayanos and Rahmattalabi looked at the web of social relationships of young people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles, given that 1 in 2 youth who are homeless have considered suicide.

“Our algorithm can improve the efficiency of suicide prevention trainings for this particularly vulnerable population,” Vayanos said.

An important goal when deploying this AI system is to ensure fairness and transparency.

“This algorithm can help us find a subset of people in a social network that gives us the best chance that youth will be connected to someone who has been trained when dealing with resource constraints and other uncertainties,” said study co-author Anthony Fulginiti.

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This work is particularly important for vulnerable populations, say the researchers, particularly for youth who are experiencing homelessness.

The paper is set to be presented at the 33rd Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) in Vancouver, Canada, this month. (IANS)