The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between inappropriate views on suicide, such as it being a personal choice, inevitable, unpreventable, and permissible, with demographic variables and the feeling of shame in seeking help among the general population.Methods:
A self-administered questionnaire on mental health and suicide was distributed to all residents aged 40–74 in four areas in Oita Prefecture, Japan, and 4487 responded. The association of seven inappropriate views on suicide with demographic variables was examined by multiple logistic analyses. The association between feeling shame in seeking help with demographic variables and the above views on suicide was similarly analyzed.Results:
Inappropriate views on suicide were associated with gender (i.e. men). Some of these views also correlated with age, never having been married, and living in rural areas or areas with high suicide mortality rates. Multivariate analysis revealed that feeling shame in seeking help when distressed was associated with being aged 70–74, living in rural areas or areas with high suicide mortality rates, the view on suicide as a matter of self-choice, and a pessimistic view toward life.Conclusion:
These findings suggest that inappropriate views on suicide adversely affect coping strategies and mental health. Suicide prevention programs aimed at improving mental health literacy in a community should take into consideration the characteristics of elderly male residents.