Can Religion Help In Reducing Suicide Rates?


Religion is as old as the human race itself. In the heydays we would pray to the Gods for mercy and comfort. We would pray for water, rain, crops and health. Our society ran by the will of God and rested in the hands of God. But one thing we didn’t have were psychological disorders and the fears associated with killing ourselves before our time.

Perhaps sometimes returning to the old ways helps us to find the meaning of life and the source of happiness and well-being. Over the years we have let religion slip out of our lives slowly and quietly because who wants to turn to God when rain, crops and health are given to us by farmers and doctors?




However, a Harvard University study points out that religion can help reduce suicide rates in people and religious people have a lower tendency to commit suicide.

The study was carried out by Nancy Krieger, PhD, from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Massachusetts, USA. The study points out that frequent religious mass attendance was linked with a lower tendency to commit suicide.

Analyzing the environment in religious institutions, the researchers say, “For patients who are already religious, service attendance might be encouraged as a form of meaningful social participation.”

But not only religion, but spirituality, in general, is linked to fewer suicide attempts, even after accounting for demographic boundaries and different types of social support.

And when it comes to comparison between religious and non-religious people, it was found out in another study that non-religious people attempted suicide more, had fewer reasons to live and had fewer moral objections to suicide. They also had more aggression in them and had past substance abuse disorder.

In contrast, religious people also tend to have lower aggression levels and have more reasons to live. Their religious affiliation also offered therapeutic suggestions which reduced their suicidal thoughts and therefore they had a higher status of well-being and valuation of life.

  1. AvatarShmavatar says

    where did you come up with that thing about spirituality, how was spirituality even defined? i guess someone is making shit up;)

    1. Ahmed Hassan Chaudhry says

      I agree to your reservations about spirituality and its effect on the heath of an individual regardless of their health status at that moment. I also had my doubts regarding the effect of non-existential factors on the existential life until i came across a study published in Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings titled, “The role of spirituality in health care.”
      According to this study, Dr. Puchalski highlighted the classification of spirituality in the existential domain of life as it can be measured in the form of Quallity of Life (QoL) score.
      A better QoL score was related to a relatively better quality of life experienced by the people suffering from advanced cases of diseases. the study also attributed the connection of spiritual well being to the ability of the patients to tolerate pain and being able to enjoy a certain (good) quality of life simultaneously.

  2. Fizza Akbar says

    This is interesting that now science is pondering upon the impact of religion on people’s life and well-being. No matter which religious group one belongs to, I believe the sense of belonging and hope, a religion gives you is what keeps one goes despite the hardships faced in life. Similarly attending religious congregations and gatherings help people connect with positive energy around them which eventually leads them to think beyond negative aspects of life.

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