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How do most African cultures view suicide?

Suicide is shrouded in secrecy and attracts stigma in most African countries. Most African countries do not report data on suicides to the World Health Organization. African authorities often record suicide as "death by unnatural causes," creating difficulty in compiling accurate statistics. Ostracization of individuals and families is common, which explains in part why suicide often is hidden. On many African countries' statutes, suicide is a criminal act. African nations' limited mental health specialists and inadequate mental health infrastructure are compounded by underfunding of research and the official system for reporting deaths. South Africa produces few, but good, studies of suicide.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.