Introduction: Suicide is a serious public health problem. Many factors are known to influence suicide. Much has been studied about the influence of media on suicide attempters. Less studied is the effect of media from a rural background.
Aim: To study the profile of suicide attempters from a rural background and the role of media.
Materials and Methods: This study was undertaken in a General Hospital Psychiatry unit attached to Government Medical College. Total of 189 medically stable suicide attempters with the rural background was included in the study. The profile of the participants influenced by media was studied. SPSS version 20.0, was used for descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: One hundred and eighty-nine participants were included. Based on the type of influence, three groups were formed [influenced by media (television) (n=37) / influence by other attempters (n=57) / own inner feelings (n=95)] who differed significantly with respect to age (χ2= 4.134, p=0.018) and type of attempt (χ2= 6.619, p=0.037). Regression analysis showed the presence of adjustment disorder predicting the person to be influenced by internal feelings to attempt suicide.
Conclusion: One in five was influenced by media. Majority of the participants were influenced by their own internal feelings. Influence of media was higher in the younger age group. There is a dire need to spread mental health awareness to prevent suicide attempts/suicides and to improve appropriate help-seeking behavior. Television was the common source of influence, hence using this media would help to create awareness in rural population.
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Keyword : Suicide attempt, Media influence, Rural.