Another suicide in Clarkston, Atlanta


A young man identified as Purna Gurung stabbed himself to near-death unconsciousness before dawn break on Saturday, Feb 23. He was rushed to the hospital by police called by the neighbor after his wife informed of his long silence in the bathroom, the door locked from inside.

The suicide of this man took place on early hours of the same day when some 45 Bhutanese community members plan to attend a phone conference to discuss the very issue of burgeoning suicide rates among Bhutanese across US. When the ORR officials in Washington updated the suicide number of 20, they were not expecting this suicide to add to the list.

Purna’s wife informed the neighbors about his long silence in the bathroom, with occasional thuds. She revealed to the immediate neighbors that she noticed some blood spilling from beneath the door, which prompted the neighbors to call police, before going to her help.

‘There has not been any case of family dispute or tension between husband and wife as per we know’, told one neighbor. ‘However, Purna had been ousted from his jobs and was not working’.

It was almost three months that they could not pay the house rent and were sued by the leasing company. A church affiliate, Purna was helped by the Church pay the rent of one month, according to another neighbor.

The deceased is suspected to have started drinking and gambling in a local bar, after he left the job.

The dead body is kept for postmortem while his widow wife is taken care of by his brothers living in another apartment in Atlanta.

Purna is survived by his wife and one year old daughter. He came from Timai camp.


  1. Although the resettlement of Bhutanese refugees in the third world may be a boon to many, however, the very solution to many families has been a source of acute fraustration when they are entrapped between the devil and the deep, blue sea.

    Eight or more hours of strenouswork under continued pressure by employers in entry-level works, being unable to get driver ‘s license, inability to apply for foodstamps and medicaids, different work schedules especially among couples, dwindling socialization accompanied by an array of complexities one has to endure primarily due to ignorance and the toughest battle— having to eventually adjust and adapt in a new scenario— may have been the chief players pushing one to go the extent of self-immolation.

    Above all and of late, a substantial section of our youths are seen to be showing greater affinity towards ‘drinking and gambling’ and thus, bringing ruins, domestic turmoil and eventually, self-destruction.

    I think it’s time for community members , intellectuals and elderly folks to come forward and explore solutions to timely stem the burgeoning suicides in the Bhutanese diaspora.

    Nashville, Tennessee

  2. This is again terrible news. This guy had no job but how did he manage for gambling and drinking? It is amazing how easily people take their own lives. Were there no any people in the charities who helped resettled refugees to advocate their daily living difficulties? I am sure that there should be many people from the Bhutanese community to help this poor guy. This is the greatest part where vulnerable people need help from educated, learned and leaders now. Georgia is with smart people from Bhutanese community but these people turned out to be dumb. Very sorry to hear this and may his departed life get rest in heaven.

  3. I am saddened by this tragedy. I have worked with Bhutanese refugees since 2008 in Atlanta and was visiting a family at the same complex Saturday night when they told me about their neigbor. Atlanta/Clarskston have over 4000 Bhutanese and I would say that at least 25 families have bought homes. It s only recently that I noticed at least 5 arrests of young Bhutanesee men for burglary. There appears to be a small gang of around 15 youth who cannot adjust so it is just not the adults adjusting

    As i understand it,gambling and drinking were issues in the camps as well. CDC reports that the suicide rate among Bhutanese both in the US and the camps is twice the US average for the whole population. I guess some people thrive on resettlement and see a clear opportunity and others wallow in despair. Coming from 18 years of deprivation and entering a money economy has to be a shock

    Most Bhutanes here have hard jobs in chicken factories.Most hate the work but see a vision for their children. There are clearly 2 lost generations, but those under 20 will achieve much.

    I do not knowt what can be done to prevent this. I attended a seminar on this with CDC.Many people in the community are trying to help but it is hard to visually see depression. My friend who is a neigbor always saw this man as friendly and did not appear distressed.

    My heat goes out to the family