Sponsoring Organization/Entity:

Institute for Graduate Studies and Research

Anton de Kom Universiteit van Suriname

Anton de Kom Universiteit van Suriname


International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)

International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)


Suriname Ministry of Health

Ministerie van volksgezondheid


PAHO Suriname
PAHO Suriname Flag

Supported by PAHO Suriname


Syngenta Global

Syngenta Global

Suriname and the Region

Suicide and attempted suicide are identified by now as a public and mental health problem in Suriname. To the WHO, the country reported a suicide rate of 23/100 000 (2011). The rate for suicide attempts is estimated to be more than 200/100 000. Gradually, suicidality is receiving slightly more attention from health care professionals. On an individual level however, suicidal ideation is not considered to be a warning signal that implies the necessity to seek help. Taboo and anxiety both result in silence and surprise if a suicide attempt is there. Helpers often are reluctant, fearing that talking might enhance a suicide risk.

An epidemiological study in the most western, agricultural Nickerie catchment area revealed even higher rates of suicide than the country as a whole, 46 per 100,000 on average in the years 2004–2011. Particularly remarkable are the high number of attempted suicides among males (49%), and the use of pesticides in both fatal (52 %) and nonfatal suicidal behavior (50 %). Other rural districts also have relatively high suicide rates. Vulnerable in particular are persons from East-Indian descent. Some research into this situation is available, but explanations still are preliminary.