A Thai commits suicide every two hours, new statistics show

In Thailand, one person commits suicide every two hours with the oldest recorded person a 93-year-old and the youngest a 10-year-old.

The main causes of suicide are family disputes, chronic health problems, jealousy, and heartbreak. The Public Health Ministry disclosed these startling statistics yesterday to mark World Suicide Prevention Day and also to release instructions to help try and curb the number of suicides.

Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadom said that 3,900 Thais commit suicide each year and suicide rates are more prevalent in the North of the country. Additionally, over 800,000 people around the world commit suicide each year, which is expected to increase to 1.5 million by 2020.

Piyasakol revealed that Thailand has been fighting to keep the suicide rate below 6.5 per 100,000 people and in 2014, the number reached 6.08 per 100,000 with a peak of 8.2 in 2001.

“About 3 percent of men who took their own life also harmed others. With women, it is 2 per cent,” said department director-general Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk.

Foreign research has shown that more access to social media correlates with higher suicide rates, Piyasakol expressed his concern about the research because there are approximately 16 million social media users in Thailand.

However, social media can also used as a means to battle against suicide. According to Jedsada, nearly half of the victims left farewell messages on Facebook, telling people about their suffering, and posting pictures of guns or tools of suicide.

If a friend or relative sees someone they know posting this sort of thing on social media, Jedsada encourages them not to ignore that cry for help.

He also gave tips on what to do in such a situation.

“When coming across a signal, do not challenge [the person], taunt or make indifferent comments. Also don’t share or post pictures of people who have committed suicide or their relatives,” he said.

Jedsada added we should discourage the person from taking their life, talk to the person more, and ask those who are close to the person to assist or contact the Mental Health Department’s 1323 hotline, The Nation reported.

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