Background: Psychosocial stressors and the quality of the support system are important factors in attempted suicide. This research has studied these stressors and the condition of the support system in suicide attempt cases in Karaj, Iran. Methods: This is a part of the Iranian section of the widest multisite study on suicide prevention (SUPRE-MISS) proposed and directed by the WHO in eight countries, including Iran. Here we present data obtained from 632 suicide attempters presenting in emergency centers over a period of ten months. Results: According to the time lapse from the stressor to the suicide attempt, proximal stressors are considered to be precipitating while distal stressors are considered to be perpetuating factors. Although, family conflicts were found to increase the risk of suicide one year after the conflict, conflicts with family (25%) and spouse (35%) were the most frequent stressors one month before the attempt, acting as proximal factors. Conflict with spouse was more prominent for people who had been married less than seven years. Conflict with family was the most important stressors for 15-25 year-old attempters. Though it is not clear which areas of conflict are more crucial in a suicide attempt, especially considering gender differences, educational and financial problems were more prominent one year before the suicide attempt. The support system was more crucial for female attempters: Although they received more practical support than males, females complained more of deficiencies in support. Conclusions: The roles of different psychological stressors in attempted suicide vary according to the time lapse from the stressor until the suicide. Family and marital conflicts can be precipitating and perpetuating factors, while educational and financial problems appear to be perpetuating factors. Family is considered to be an important support system for a great number of attempted suicide cases, especially since it offers practical support. Support systems are crucial in preventive programs for suicide, especially among women.
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