Suicidal behaviors in the Ghana police service: Prevalence and correlates in the Greater Accra Region


Emmanuel Nii-Boye Quarshie, Samuel Kofi Odame, Francis Annor.


Background: Despite recent media reports showing disturbing trends of police suicides in Ghana, no published studies are available from the country. Aims: We sought to estimate the prevalence and describe some of the correlates of suicidal behaviors among police officers in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Method: We surveyed a convenience sample of 268 police officers, using the Suicide Behavior Questionnaire-Revised to assess suicidal ideation, planning, threat, and attempt. Results: Whereas lifetime suicidal ideation (28%), planning (3%), threat (21.6%), and 12-month suicidal ideation (26.9%) were reported, no participating police officer reported ever attempting suicide. Moonlighting showed the strongest statistically significant association with 12-month suicidal ideation, while age, marital status, and job satisfaction also emerged as statistically significant correlates of suicidal ideation. Limitations: The busy nature of police work precluded random selection. The criminalized and tabooed status of attempted suicide in Ghana might have led participants to provide guarded and socially desirable responses. Conclusion: Intervention efforts are needed to prevent the onset of suicidal ideation and possible transition to suicide among police officers in Ghana. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) GHANA AFRIQUE IDÉATION INTENTION TENTATIVE POLICE FACTEUR-RISQUE

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