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In Belize, an average of 2 suicides occur each month

A suicide attempt is reported every 5 days, on average

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Sept. 5, 2017–Most suicides in Belize don’t actually make the news. According to information published this week by the Ministry of Health, Belize has averaged about 2 suicides per month over the past 5 years (2012-2016), whereas there have been an average of 6 suicide attempts a month over the same period.

What the data shows is that the vast majority of suicide victims are males (a ratio of 4 males to every female), whereas the vast majority of attempts are made by women (6 in 10 or roughly 60%).

Cayo reported the most suicides and suicide attempts for 2012-2016

For the 5-year span, there were 113 suicides: 75 of them by hanging, 24 by medication or poison, 8 by firearm, 2 by drowning, 2 by cutting blades, and 1 by fire. By location, the bulk of cases were from the Cayo District: 31, followed next in line by the Belize District: 27.

Reported suicide attempts numbered 382 for the same 5-year span—amounting to a suicide attempt every 5 days. The Ministry says that the bulk of these attempts are with the use of medication or poison (260 cases). Fifty-four cases were with the use of cutting blades (razor or knife) and 39 with a rope. There were 3 attempted suicides by people who ran in front of a moving vehicle.

Again, a third of the cases were reported in the Cayo District, which accounts for only 24% of Belize’s population, whereas the Belize District, which accounts for 30% of the population, reported 15% of the cases.

For the 5-year period, there were more than three times as many females diagnosed with depressive disorders than males. The cases totaled 2,143.

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