Suicide is a complex with numerous influences, including the individual s personality, sex, age, culture and social environment. Across the world more than 800 000 people commit suicide every year. Western countries have a higher suicide rate compared to third world countries. Europe in particular have a high suicide rate compared to Africa and Asia.49
Suicide rates differ between men and women, young and old, and this is also the case for immigrant and native-born populations. Suicide rates are generally lower among immigrants compared to the natives, this is probably do to protective factors in the ethnic environment such as a traditional family structure, strong relationships and religious believes. But these protective factors only work in areas with a high immigrant density. Among immigrants the most important risk factors are social conflicts, economic poverty and acculturation.
From Muslim countries there has been reported low rate of suicide or deliberate self harm. The low rates of suicide in Muslim countries are usually explained on various grounds. As the prevailing Islamic teachings condemn and strictly proscribe international self destruction, these might be considered important factors in under-reporting of these symptoms. Similarly, the legal penalties and the features of prosecution and imprisonment for suicidal patients may also make it more uncommon for the expression of suicidal wishes or thoughts in these countries.
A study about suicidal symptoms in depressed Pakistani patients showed that although actual suicidal attempt were few in this study, but the feelings and wishes of suicide were marked and almost consistent with reports from the west. We will illustrate epidemiological findings on attempted suicide in South Asian people in their countries of origin and in the UK and compare social and cultural factors across the two settings.