Suicide and suicide-related behavior Among Bhutanese refugees resettled in the United States

Jonah Meyerhoff*, Kelly J. Rohan, Karen M. Fondacaro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Suicidal behavior and death by suicide are significant and pressing problems in the Bhutanese refugee community. Currently, Bhutanese refugees are dying by suicide at a rate nearly two times that of the general U.S. population. Proper identification of risk factors for suicide saves lives; however, if risk is underestimated due to culturally inflexible risk assessments, preventable deaths may continue to occur. In this review, we examine specific cultural factors related to psychopathology and suicide among Bhutanese refugees. To contextualize the current suicide crisis among Bhutanese refugees, we propose an integration of the interpersonal psychological theory of suicide (Joiner, 2005) and the cultural model of suicide (Chu, Goldblum, Floyd, & Bongar, 2010). We provide recommendations for preventing suicide from a systems framework and discuss practical lessons from a preliminary study designed to test a culturally responsive model of suicide in Bhutanese refugees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-283
Number of pages14
JournalAsian American Journal of Psychology
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Forced migration
  • Ideation-to-action
  • Prevention
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

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