Suicides can occur in every community, culture, and country. However, the suicide rate for Bhutanese refugees resettling in the U.S. is nearly three times as high as the average suicide rate in the U.S. according to the International Organization for Migration. In addition, suicide has become an epidemic, especially among youth in Bhutan. The Royal Bhutan Police reported that from 2010 to October 2013, 293 suicides were reported.
Among refugee populations resettled in the U.S., the sense of loss from leaving one’s family and culture, coupled with language learning and employment difficulties can further one’s sense of hopelessness. In addition, the feeling of inadequacy stemming from an inability to provide for one’s family, lessened social support, family and community conflict after resettlement, worries about family in the home country, and difficulty retaining ones cultural and religious beliefs and traditions are also risk factors.
As social service providers, we can effectively assist our clients by educating ourselves on the warning signs, knowing how and when to refer, introducing families to social and education opportunities, and ensuring that clients have someone to help with the resettlement process and the myriad of changes along the way.
In an effort to combat the rising suicide rate among the Bhutanese population in the U.S., the National Partnership for Community Training is pleased to offer the following resources on suicide prevention.
- Suicide Precaution: How to identify when levels of sadness or depression are a concern
- An investigation into suicides among Bhutanese Refugees in the United States, 2009-2012: PowerPoint presentation
- An Investigation into suicides among Bhutanese refugees in the US: 2009-2012: Stakeholders Report
- Who am I? Assessment of psychosocial needs and suicide risk factors among Bhutanese refuges in Nepal after third country resettlement
- Refugee suicide prevention toolkit -QPR training resources in English and Nepali
- Constructing a Social Problem: Suicide, Acculturation, and the Hmong
- Rates, risk factors, and self harm among minority ethnic groups in the UK
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Pocket Card – translated in Nepali
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Pocket Card – English
- Yes, suicide is preventable: A survivor’s testimony