This book is in 5 volumes, Hard cover and e-book, with 110 Chapters and contributions from more than 30 Countries
Amresh Shrivastava (ed), Megan Kimbrell and David Lester Handbook of Suicide From Global Perspective
Preface by Professor N. Sartorius, MD, PhD
Suicide is the cause of death for nearly one million people a year. Death by suicide is often reported as being due to other causes to avoid stigmatization and other negative consequences of suicide for the family: it can therefore be assumed that the number of people who commit suicide is much higher than this number. Attempts of suicide – estimated to be ten times more frequent than completed suicide often cause permanent impairment and disability. Suicide can stigmatize families across generations. The loss of life caused by suicide presents a significant loss for the communities in which it occurs – socially, economically and by blocking progress towards the creation of a civic society. The aging of populations and the high prevalence of chronic diseases – both of which are risk factors for suicide and both of which characterize an increasing number of countries as well as the increasing prevalence of several mental disorders – for example of depressive disorders – and the continuing growth of several other risk factors for suicide make it possible to predict an increase in suicide rates worldwide unless resolute action is undertaken to prevent suicidal behaviour. A major problem in that respect is that in many countries suicide is not seen as a major public health problem despite its frequency and the severity of its consequences. In part this is so because of a vicious circle - methods of suicide prevention have not been sufficiently widely and vigorously applied so that public health authorities until now have only a very limited number of compelling examples of successful suicide prevention programmes - and are therefore not providing the resources for such programmes which in turn limits the possibility to produce successful programmes that would convince them to continue their investment into this area of public health work. In part however, the absence of resolute action against suicide is due to the insufficient awareness of the magnitude and severity of the problems (and of possibilities of effective intervention to reduce problems) by the general population, by health and social service decision makers and by health professionals. A textbook bringing together current knowledge about suicide, its causes and its prevention is a precious tool for public health efforts and for clinicians’ daily work. The availability of an assembly of carefully and critically presented facts in the form of chapters responding to specific problems can help in the education of health professionals and provide them with data that they can use in developing proposals for action. It can draw attention to methods of work that have been tried elsewhere and found useful. It can provide a better understanding of the genesis of problem and its progression. When such a textbook is produced by an international group of experts from some thirty countries – developing and developed, North and South, East and West, characterized by different religions, traditions and cultures – it becomes even more useful because it presents knowledge seen through the eyes of professionals with rich experience gathered in dealing with the same problem under different circumstances prevailing in different parts of the world. The fact that the experts who joined Professor Shrivastava represent several of disciplines that are involved in research and in practical work with people who may be at risk of suicide and this multidisciplinary approach is another asset of this voluminous work. It is therefore a pleasure to congratulate Professor Shrivastava and the authors of this work and to express the hope that the book will be read and used by many. The application of the knowledge that is assembled – in conducting further research, in education of different categories of personnel, in providing care – will be the most significant reward for those who produced this book and I think that by the quality of their work and by the efforts that they have made to make it such they richly deserve it.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/amreshsrivastava/98/