Asylum seekers are naturally in a critical situation. Trauma, flight, unpredictable procedures, imminent deportation and an uncertain future are the basis for a hopeless situation that too often ends in suicide. Psycho-therapeutic care is in many cases necessary, but often not available or accessible.
Again and again we see suicides or suicide attempts among asylum seekers, which is a very sensitive topic. On the one hand, one does not want to take the desperate last step through social media and the press, but on the other hand, these suicides are an expression of the hopelessness that has arisen through unfair asylum procedures that must be addressed.
However, suicides among asylum seekers are also rarely included in the official statistics, since they only record the suicides of Austrians and, to our knowledge, there are no publicly available statistics on suicides or suicide attempts among asylum seekers. This does not capture the problem and does not highlight the scope of the problem.
The code of honor of the Austrian press provides fairly clear guidelines and demands from a responsible journalism a great deal of restraint in this area. However, the well-founded restraint of the press also runs the risk that these suicides will be neglected in the public perception and that the effects of the inhumane procedures will not be shown clearly enough.
We, Doro Blancke, Andrea Mayrwöger und I, Wolfgang Salm, have therefore decided to set up a registration office for suicides and suicide attempts to collect the incidents. We guarantee absolute anonymity and will not bring a single case individually to the public! Our aim is rather to refer the endangered to the emergency and crisis intervention centers and to fill the gap in the statistics.
However, we do intend to capture the background that led to the dramatic steps. We would like to highlight the psychological stress caused by long waiting times and sometimes obscure procedures.
If you know of suicides or suicide attempts among asylum seekers, please contact us. Our e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org