Suicides in Taiwan rise for third year in a row

2018/09/09 20:13:35 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Suicides in Taiwan rise for third year in a row

Taipei, Sept. 9 (CNA) Although suicide has not been among the top 10 leading causes of death in Taiwan since 2010, the number of people dying by suicide has increased over the past three years, according to statistics released Sunday by the Taiwanese Society of Suicidology (TSS).

The number of people who died by suicide in 2017 was 3,871, making it the 11th leading cause of death in Taiwan that year, TSS Secretary General Liao Shih-cheng (廖士程) said during a seminar to mark Sept. 10 World Suicide Prevention Day.

The figure represented an increase from 3,675 in 2015 and 3,765 in 2016, indicating more needs to be done to prevent people taking their own lives, particularly among those aged 65 and older among whom Liao said the rate is particularly high.

Hanging was the most frequently used method of suicide in Taiwan last year, accounting for 1,263 lives, followed by charcoal burning, which left 956 dead; and solid/liquid poisoning, with 663 fatalities, according to TSS statistics.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that about 1 million people die from suicide every year, which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds.

There is one suicide attempt every 3 seconds. On average, a suicide impacts at least six other people, Liao said citing WHO data.

Individuals with a history of attempted suicide form a well-defined high-risk group for suicide, TSS President Lee Ming-been (李明濱) noted, adding that such attempts are associated with increased risk of death by suicide.

The number of reported suicide attempts has also increased over the past few years. In 2017, 26,000 suicide attempts were reported, up 4.17 percent from 2016.

While women more often have suicidal thoughts, men die by suicide more frequently, according to Lee.

Around 1.328 million people, or 6.5 percent of Taiwan's population suffered from emotional problems in 2017, Lee said, citing a survey conducted by the suicide prevention center established by the TSS.

In addition, Lee went on, about 1.5 percent of people aged 15 and older surveyed, or 300,000 individuals, thought about committing suicide over the past year, while 11.5 percent have had suicidal thoughts at some time.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Evelyn Kao)

Share on Facebook  Share on twitter  Share by email