Jon Petter Stoor

Suicide among Sámi – Cultural meanings of suicide and interventions for suicide prevention in Nordic parts of Sápmi

Disputas desember 2020. Jon Petter Stoor var ansatt som psykolog og forsker tilknyttet SANKS.


In suicidological research, it is well known that suicide rates differ, sometimes to a great extent, between countries, sexes, religious and ethnic populations. It has been suggested that in-depth exploration of social, cultural, contextual and historical perspectives on suicide is needed to explain this, and increase efficacy of prevention efforts. Sámi are the Indigenous people who traditionally live in northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and north-western Russia (the Kola Peninsula). Generally, Sámi seem to enjoy good health along with the majority populations, at least in jurisdictions where some data is available (no Russian data is available). However, suicide is considered a major public health issue among Sámi, as it is globally. Sámi men have died more often by suicide than the majority populations in Nordic countries, ranging from 17% excess in Sweden (1961–2000), to 150% excess in Finland (1997–2005). An increased focus on the importance of reducing suicide among Sámi has led to creation of a ‘Plan for suicide prevention among Sámi in Norway, Sweden and Finland’ in 2017. However, research on this issue is still very limited and mainly includes cohort studies on suicide mortality and cross-sectional studies on suicidal behaviour. There are no studies that have evaluated suicide prevention programs among Sámi.

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