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Suicide Statistics

Warning: Below contains sensitive information surrounding suicide in Indonesia, including suicide means. Reading about suicide may lead to having negative feelings. If you feel mentally unwell, be sure to talk to someone or seek help.

 

The data and figures below are not to be reproduced without explicit permission from INASP. To cite the data, please use the citations below:

  • Onie, S. et al. (under review). Indonesian National Suicide Prevention Strategy 2022: A Preliminary Report. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/xhqgm

  • Onie, S., Daswin, A.V., et al. (in prep). Suicide in Indonesia in 2022: Underreporting, Provincial Rates, and Means. DOI: psyarxiv.com/amnhw

Official Suicide Death 2020: 670
Unreported Suicide Rate: at least 303%* (Reported world average is 0 – 50%)
Adjusted suicide death: 2700 . minimum

Factors that may influence the underreporting of suicide deaths:

  • Due to stigma and the potential social impact, families may not report if a loved one has committed suicide

  • At the request of the family, the doctor or the police may not report if a suicide has occurred

  • Indonesia does not yet have a death register that reports accurate data, so data may be lost

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2018 Suicide Attempt: 6000
Unreported suicide attempts: 4 - 12:1
Ratio of Suicide Attempts to Suicide Deaths: 8 - 24:1
Adjusted Suicide Attempt Count: 24300 - 72000

We estimate that the true estimate of suicide is much greater than 302% given that this was obtained by one initial method for calculating underreporting.
Factors that may influence the underreporting of suicide deaths:

  • In addition to the above, because suicide is not covered by BPJS (universal health care), to help patients receive universal health care, doctors can change the diagnosis to eliminate the traces of suicide.

  • If the methods used are non-lethal and hospitalization is not required, then suicide attempts may not be recorded

  • Certain health care centers or hospitals may not register suicide attempts
     

Provinces with the highest suicide rates: Central Java, DKI Yogyakarta, North Maluku, and Riau Islands 

Provinces with the highest suicide rates: West Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Bengkulu, North Sulawesi, followed by the Riau Archipelago.  

These findings suggest that we need a province-specific approach, as these provinces differ in almost every way, including major religion, industry, geography, and ethnic group. Therefore, suicide prevention should be carried out at the provincial level for maximum effectiveness.

A view of n archipelago

 The four most widely used means in Indonesia are:

1. Hanging

2. Self-Poisoning

3. Jumping from Height

4. Sharp Object

 

These findings are consistent with an agricultural country located in a tropical climate. It should be noted that there may be underreporting of suicides using other means than hanging because it is much easier to disguise as a non-suicidal death.  

 

Key factors include:

1. Family

2. Religion

3. Access to psychological care 

 

Our research shows that family plays a key factor in suicide in Indonesia, where many individuals develop suicidal ideation because of conflicts with their families, but often do not attempt suicide because they think about their family. Religion can also prevent a person from attempting suicide, but fear of stigma can also prevent someone from seeking help. Other factors include access to psychological care, where there are fewer than 5,000 psychologists and psychiatrists for the entire population, with even fewer trained in practical suicide prevention.

 

One of the main findings is that suicide is taboo in the country, leading people to stigmatize people with suicidal thoughts or who have attempted suicide. This taboo also causes people to avoid the topic. 

 

One way to deal with this is the de-stigmatization of religion and the demoralization of suicide. Previous evidence suggests that in Indonesia, a religious perspective is needed to create sustainable change, for example, vaccination campaigns that have successfully relied on religious arguments. Therefore, suicide prevention in Indonesia must include religious arguments, especially in highly religious areas.

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Methods and Data Sources

 

This data is calculated from various sources, including police data, death registry data, Potensi Desa survey data, and death registry data. Underreporting is calculated using a registry type study which compares police statistics with a sample registry system study conducted in Indonesia. Furthermore, underreporting of attempted suicides was calculated using the difference between the self-poisoning statistics in the police and the sample registration system. Other data sources include the Village Potential survey and death registrations from the Ministry of Civil Affairs. For details see the link below.

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