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Dr. Esad Boškailo: Suicide Is A Global Problem And Should Not Be A Taboo Topic

As part of a lecture series designed for health professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), organized by BHAAAS through the Web Medical Archives platform, Dr. Esad Boškailo, a psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona, delivered a lecture on “Suicide Risk Management.” The audience comprised approximately 40 participants, specialists in family medicine, psychiatry, nurses, psychologists, and social workers, all keenly interested in this important yet often neglected topic in our region.

Dr. Boškailo emphasized that globally, around 800,000 suicides occur each year, translating to one suicide every 40 seconds. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are over 400 suicide deaths annually, with around 220 in Republika Srpska and approximately 200 in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH). According to the presented data, BiH has a low to medium level of suicide rates.

Risk factors for suicide include a history of previous suicide attempts, which is the strongest predictor, along with psychiatric disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism or substance abuse, schizophrenia, and other psychoses. Personality disorders, anxiety disorders (including panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder), and a combination of depression and anxiety also significantly increase the risk of suicide.

Dr. Boškailo pointed out that mental illness is often stigmatized, and there is a reluctance to discuss it openly. Suicide is not limited to those diagnosed with mental illnesses; individuals without a diagnosed mental illness are also attempting and committing suicide globally. He stressed that social support and family ties are associated with a lower risk of suicide. The importance of the patient’s trust in the doctor and the doctor’s ability to recognize suicidal thoughts and behaviours to prevent tragic outcomes are specially highlighted.

During the lecture, Dr. Boškailo shared significant experiences from his years of practice, providing concrete examples to help medical professionals recognize elements of suicidality in their patients. The session concluded with a discussion, allowing for individual questions, and drawing conclusions to assist medical professionals in addressing the challenges they face daily.

Dr. Esad Boškailo, a highly respected figure in the Bosnian Herzegovinian intellectual community in USA, and former president of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian-American Academy of Science and Art (BHAAAS), delivered a thought-provoking lecture. The recording of Dr. Boškailo’s lecture can be accessed at the following link

As part of the ongoing medical activities, a new lecture on the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD by Dr. Amer Smajkić is scheduled for March 17, 2024. Anyone interested can attend the lecture via the provided link

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