Ninety-four Canadian-born psychiatric patients who committed suicide were compared with 23 foreign-born patients committing suicide in Canada. East Europeans were over-represented, and significant differences were found in the age distribution, stress, level of education, social isolation, and methods of suicide. Most foreign-born patients had come to Canada for family or economic reasons but were unemployed, with poor social integration. Employment, housing, education, social integration and a support network seem to be important in preventing these deaths. Cultural evaluation of the patient and early intervention is recommended.