Suicide growing among Thais

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BANGKOK, Sept 6 – The number of Thais turning to suicide in 2011 reached a higher rate than the previous year, according to Mental Health Department deputy director-general Dr Tawee Tangseri.

Over 3,500 persons in Thailand commit suicide on average per year.

In 2011, the figure reached over 3,800, a ratio of 6.03 per 100,000 persons. Last year’s overall death toll from suicide was higher than 2010 when the overall suicide rate was 5.9 per 100,000 persons.

According to statistics from 2007-2011, Dr Tawee said 852 teens committed suicide, at an average rate of about 170 per year.

Last year, Thai teenagers aged 15-19 committed suicide, at a ratio of 3.43 per 100,000 in the population. Young men are three times more successful at suicide than young women, while young women are three times likely than young men to hurt themselves.

Suicide is usually associate with extreme depression. Among young people failed friendships, love affairs, failed exams, while the aged or persons with terminal diseases sometimes commit suicide because they do not wish to become a burden to their families.

Thai teenagers need special attention, Dr Tawee said, for young people are bound to face life problems and they must adjust to what challenges life offers, such as being accepted in a university.

Suicide is an important problem facing Thai society, he noted.