Today is World Suicide Prevention Day which falls on September tenth of every year.
The Pattaya News wanted to take some time to talk about this sensitive topic especially in the light of Covid-19 and the increased economic stress it had on many people in Thailand.
First, a bit about the day. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and theWorld Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) to host World Suicide Prevention Day. The awareness day first began in 2003 and has continued since then.
Thailand did not publish full suicide statistics for last year and this current year is not complete, however, data is available for 2018 from the Ministry of Public Health and other watchdog related organizations.
In 2018 the suicide rate in Thailand was 6.34 per 100,000 people according to the medical data given. Furthermore, Thai 4,137 people had committed suicide (this number does not include foreign nationals) with 3,327 of this being men and 810 women. Eighty percent of the yearly suicides were males.
A further breakdown of the Thai suicide numbers show that 74 percent of the suicides were elderly over the age of 60. An average of 345 cases took place a month with a daily average around 11 to 12 a day.
The Pattaya News does not report every suicide, although we will occasionally do so if deemed news worthy or to bring attention to the growing problem during the pandemic. This week alone at least two cases took place in the Pattaya area. One notable case had a thirty six year old motorbike driver hang himself from a tree on a public road. He left a letter saying he was depressed and had relationship issues. A short video discussing this incident is below.
It is unclear at this point exactly what affect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on suicide rates in Thailand and with exact data from 2019 not available it is difficult to state factually that rates have gone up due to the pandemic. One thing is clear, however, and that is with borders closed to tourists in Thailand and economic devastation common in tourist towns like Pattaya the amount of stress on many people has increased.
The Pattaya News encourages readers who are feeling depressed or need assistance to reach out for help. We personally endorse and support the Samaritans of Thailand which can be found below and are available to talk every day.
Photo: Sattahip police at the scene of a suicide yesterday in Sattahip of a 53 year old Thai man with health issues who tragically took his own life yesterday afternoon.