Suicidal behavior in black South Africans

Crisis. 2003;24(1):24-8. doi: 10.1027//0227-5910.24.1.24.


In the past suicidal behavior among Black South Africans has been largely underresearched. Earlier studies among the other main ethnic groups in the country showed suicidal behavior in those groups to be a serious problem. This article briefly reviews some of the more recent research on suicidal behavior in Black South Africans. The results indicate an apparent increase in suicidal behavior in this group. Several explanations are offered for the change in suicidal behavior in the reported clinical populations. This includes past difficulties for all South Africans to access health care facilities in the Apartheid (legal racial separation) era, and present difficulties of post-Apartheid transformation the South African society is undergoing, as the people struggle to come to terms with the deleterious effects of the former South African racial policies, related socio-cultural, socio-economic, and other pressures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Black People
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*