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Jobless and alone: Research looks into rising suicide rates in rural America

失业与孤独:调查美国农村不断上升的自杀率

DR. KRISTEN KENDRICK, ABC NewsSeptember 9, 2019



Could the presence of more local beauty shops, sports teams, and nature walks have an effect on suicide rates? Perhaps, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The biggest uptick in suicide rates is happening where population, and social stimulation, is measurably lower.

如果本地有更多的美容店、运动队和进行较多亲近自然的漫步会对自杀率产生影响吗?也许是这样的。根据《美国医学会杂志》上的一项新研究,人口和社会刺激明显较低的地方自杀率上升幅度最大。



Borders has studied suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in rural Kentucky communities for the past two years, including counties devastated by coal’s decline.

博德斯在过去两年中对肯塔基州农村社区的自杀想法和自杀企图进行了研究,其中包括了受煤炭产量下降影响的县。

“We know the people who are working in industries such as coal mining are already at greater risk of suicide because they are predominantly white, middle-aged males,” Borders said in an interview with ABC News.

博德斯在接受美国广播公司采访时说:“在煤矿等行业工作的人自杀风险更高,因为他们主要是中年白人男性。”

“It wouldn’t surprise me if we see a large spike in suicide rates in the coming years in communities where mines close, because those economic stressors affect people so quickly with tangible things like loss of housing, but also with self-worth.”

“如果未来几年煤矿关闭的社区自杀率大幅上升,我不会感到惊讶,因为这些经济压力因素对人们的影响很快,包括失去住房等有形的东西,也包括失去自我价值。”

The Ohio State researchers created social deprivation scales which showed “high deprivation” in the rural counties where suicide rates climbed -- meaning lower levels of education, low employment rates or lack of industry and higher reliance on public assistance programs like welfare.

俄亥俄州立大学的研究人员编制的社会贫困等级表显示,在自杀率攀升的农村地区,贫困率“很高”,这意味着教育水平较低、就业率较低或缺乏工业,以及对福利等公共援助项目的依赖程度较高。

Similarly, 'social capital' was weighed by the presence of spectator sports, beauty shops, arts or nature facilities and civic organizations. The research found lower social capital in rural counties with frequent suicides. There were also fewer romantic and cultural connections in these areas.

同样的,“社会资本”也用体育赛事、美容店、艺术或自然设施以及公民组织的存在来衡量。研究发现,自杀率高的农村地区社会资本较少。这些地区与浪漫和文化的联系也较少。

There’s much attention given to poor economic opportunity and its social effects as a primary risk factor for suicide, but little progress has been made in suicide prevention efforts for rural Americans.

人们对于缺乏经济机会及其作为自杀主要风险因素的社会影响给予了很大的关注,但美国农村地区的自杀预防工作却少有进展。

Borders recently completed a term on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services. He admits that governmental suicide prevention plans are designed for cities, and they had “no information or recommendations on how to prevent suicide in rural communities."

博德斯最近结束了在全国农村卫生和人类服务咨询委员会的任期。他承认,政府的自杀预防计划是为城市设计的,他们“对于如何预防农村社区的自杀并没有信息或建议”。

“I think as a researcher, I would argue that fostering economic growth in these areas might be most effective in reducing these [suicide] rates effectively. It’s difficult for government to implement policies that influence social capital, but government can play a role in stimulating the economy,” he said.

“作为一名研究人员,我认为促进这些地区的经济增长可能是降低自杀率的最有效途径。虽然政府很难实施影响社会资本的政策,但是政府可以在刺激经济方面发挥作用。”

A hopeful note: The advisory committee on Rural Health and Human Services is increasing funding for rural suicide research, trying to dig up the roots of self-harm that are planted in economic and social isolation.

一条令人充满希望的提示:农村卫生和人类服务咨询委员会正在增加对农村自杀研究的资助,试图找出找出在经济和社会孤立中扎根的自残根源。