Ritual suicide

Other Names:
Mass suicide

A suicide method is any means by which a person chooses to end their life. Suicide is not always completed, and a failed suicide attempt can leave the person with serious physical injuries, health problems that can be long-term, and brain damage.

Worldwide, three suicide methods predominate with the pattern varying in different countries. These are hanging, poisoning by pesticides, and firearms. Other common methods are jumping from a height, drug overdoses, and drowning.

Decisions made to choose suicide are often made on impulse, and these are seen to be preventable by removing the means. Making common suicide methods less accessible leads to an overall reduction in the number of suicides. Some ways to do this include restricting access to pesticides, firearms, and known used drugs. Other important measures are the introduction of policies that address the misuse of alcohol, and the treatment of mental disorders. Gun control measures in a number of countries have seen a reduction in suicides, and other gun-related deaths.


In 1978, 913 followers of Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple committed a mass suicide in northern Guyana at a site called, Jonestown. The charismatic leader of Jonestown, was Jim Jones, a preacher who set up the Peoples Temple in San Francisco and ultimately moved his followers to a more clandestine site in Guyana.

Broader Problems:
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
03.09.2020 – 15:15 CEST