Suicidal Behavior and Flood Effects in Bangladesh: A Two-Site Interview Study
Received 24 September 2020
Accepted for publication 25 November 2020
Published 13 January 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 129—144
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto
Mohammed A Mamun,1,2 Mariam Binte Safiq,1 Ismail Hosen,1,2 Firoj al Mamun1,2
1Centre for Health Innovation, Networking, Training, Action and Research – Bangladesh (CHINTA Research Bangladesh), Dhaka, Bangladesh; 2Department of Public Health and Informatics, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Correspondence: Mohammed A Mamun
Centre for Health Innovation, Networking, Training, Action and Research – Bangladesh (CHINTA Research Bangladesh), Dhaka, Bangladesh
Tel +880 1738592653
Background: Bangladeshi flood survivors are reported with such higher mental disorders that are not ever observed in any other cohorts. Although there are a few studies that assessed mental disorders, suicide or suicidal behaviors are not investigated yet. Hence, the present study for the first time investigated suicidal behaviors and its relationship with socio-demographics, flood effects and psychopathology.
Methods: A cross-sectional interview study was carried out between November and December 2019, after 4/5 months of the flood occurrence. Two completely affected villages from two districts residing in two parts of the country were randomly selected (whereas Manikganj district was less affected by the recent flood compared to Kurigram), and a total of 348 flood survivors were interviewed (45.53 ± 14.85 years). Questions related to basic socio-demographics, flood effects, psychological impacts, and suicidal behaviors were asked in the interviews.
Results: In the total sample, 57.5% of flood survivors reported having suicidal ideation, whereas 5.7% and 2.0% madea suicide plan and suicide attempt, respectively. Within two study sites, participants belonging to Kurigram reported significantly higher suicidal ideation compared to Manikganj (84.8% vs 33.2%, χ2 = 94.475, p< 0.001). Belonging to a lower-class family, having less education, and less earning members in the family, being affected severely by the flood, suffering from depression, anxiety, and PTSD, and experiencing financial threat, and economic hardship were suicidal behavior risk factors in the total sample.
Conclusion: Considering the present findings (ie, suicidality commensurately increases with flood effects), a multi-sectoral policy and its effective implementation should be adopted for alleviating the flood-related psychological burdens.
Keywords: natural disaster, flood effects, depression, PTSD, suicidal behavior, flood suicide, flood in Bangladesh