This article offers an overview of studies conducted in the United States, Japan and Taiwan regarding the impact of natural disasters on the dynamics of suicides. It additionally includes Polish studies on the impact of the 1997 flood on suicide rates. Consequently, the text discusses extremely diverse societies that have evolved following different cultural patterns. The results of the studies are not conclusive. Some statistical analyses reveal an increase in suicide rates after natural disasters, while others show their numbers to fall among men and/or women. Therefore, the cultural context that shapes the dynamics of suicides in populations struck by a natural disaster seems to be of particular significance. Natural cataclysms cause multiple social and economic problems, which in turn might result in suicides. The issue addressed in the article becomes particularly important in the context of climate change. The proposed measures that are to reduce suicidal behaviours among people in the wake of natural disasters should be carefully considered and developed accordingly, bearing the specific cultural context in mind.
Key words: suicide, natural disaster, flood, earthquake, climate change
Chen, Sam Li-Sheng, Chau-Shoun Lee, Amy Ming-Fang Yen, Hsiu-Hsi Chen, Chang-Chuan Chan, Sherry Yueh-Hsia Chiu, Jean Ching-Yuan Fann, Jung-Chen Chang. „A 10-year follow-up study on suicidal mortality after 1999 Taiwan earthquake”. Journal of Psychiatry Research 79 (2016).
Chou, Yiing-Jenq, Nicole Huang, Cheng-Hua Lee, Shu-Ling Tsai, Jen-Huoy Tsay, Long-Shen Chen, Pesus Chou. „Suicides after the 1999 Taiwan earthquake”. International Journal of Epidemiology 32, 6 (2003).
Czabański, Adam. Rezygnacja z życia w obliczu klęski żywiołowej. Powódź 1997 roku w Polsce. Poznań: Wydawnictwo „Rys Studio”, Poznań 2005.
Durkheim, Émile. Samobójstwo. Studium z socjologii. Tłum. Krzysztof Wakar. Warszawa: Oficyna Naukowa, 2006.
Hyodo, Keiko, Kazutoshi Nakamura, Mari Oyama, Osamu Yamazaki, Izumi Nakagawa, Kazuo Ishigami, Yasuo Tsuchiya, Masaharu Yamamoto. „Long-term suicide mortality rates decrease in men and increase in women after the Niigata-Chuetsu earthquake in Japan”. The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine 220, 2 (2010).
Krug, Etienne G., Marie-jo Kresnov, John P. Peddicord, Linda L. Dahlberg, Kenneth E. Powell, Alex E. Crosby, Joseph L. Annest. „Restraction: suicide after natural disasters”. The New England Journal of Medicine 340, 2 (1999).
Krug, Etienne G., Marie-jo Kresnov, John P. Peddicord, Linda L. Dahlberg, Kenneth E. Powell, Alex E. Crosby, Joseph L. Annest. „Suicides after natural disasters”. The New England Journal of Medicine 338, 6 (1998).
Liaw, Yung-Po, Po-Wen Wang, Chiu-Chin Huang, Chia-Ming Chang, Wen-Chung Lee. „The suicide mortality rates between 1997–1998 and 2000–2001 in Nantou County of Taiwan following the earthquake of September 21 in 1999”. Journal of Forensic Science 53, 1 (2008).
Lu, Tsung-Hsueh. „Earthquake and suicide: bringing context back into disaster epidemiological studies”. International Journal of Epidemiology 33, 6 (2004).
Nishio, Ahikiro, Kouhei Akazawa, Futoshi Shibuya, Ryo Abe, Hideyuki Nushida, Yasuhiro Ueno, Akiyoshi Nishimura, Toshiki Shioiri. „Influence on the suicide rate two years after a devastating disaster. A report from the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake”. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 63, 2 (2009).
Orui, Masatsugu, Shuichiro Harada, Mizuho Hayashi. „Changes in suicide rates in disaster-stricken areas following the Great East Japan Earthquake and their effect on economic factors: an ecological study”. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 19, 6 (2014).
Orui, Masatsugu, Yasuhiro Sato, Kanako Tazaki, Ikuko Kawamura, Shuichiro Harada, Mizuho Hayashi. „Delayed increase in male suicide rates in tsunami disaster-stricken areas following the Great East Japan earthquake: athree-year follow-up in Miyagi prefecture”. The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine 235, 3 (2015).
Shioiri, Toshiki, Akiyoshi Nishimura, Hideyuki Nushida, Tatsuno Yoshitugu, Siu Wa Tan. „The Kobe earthquake and reduced suicide rate in Japanese males”. Archives of General Psychiatry 56, 3 (1999).
Shoaf, Kimberly, Cary Sauter, Linda B. Bourque, Christian Giangreco, Billie Weiss. „Suicides in Los Angeles County in relation to the Northridge earthquake”. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine 19, 4 (2004).
Yip, Paul. „Effects of an earthquake on suicide rates in Nantou, Taiwan”. British Journal of Psychiatry 194, 2 (2009).