Family ties ‘help reduce suicide risk’
Depression can cause some people to contemplate the unthinkable,
The Department of Mental Health (DMH) has warned of rising suicide rates among young people of working age and pensioners.
Citing figures from DMH’s National Suicide Prevention Center, he said an average of 53,000 Thais attempt suicide per year, of which 4,000 do so successfully.
In addition, people who fail in a suicide attempt are likely to attempt the act again.
After accidents, suicide is the leading cause of unnatural death in Thailand.
DMH chief executive Amporn Benjaponpitak said stress, depression and burnout are risk factors that predispose some people to suicide.
A survey in March indicated that people at the start of their careers have a suicide risk four times higher than other adults. The figures also show that this at-risk group has gradually increased over the past four years.
During the transition from college to work, many people face financial pressures, especially in the context of a materialistic status-driven society.
Family relationships, on the other hand, can help reduce risk factors. “Families can play an important role in helping reduce these issues by providing love and care,” Dr. Amporn said.
With respect to existing mental disorders, people with bipolar disorder are at an increased risk of suicide due to extreme mood swings and difficulty coping with circumstances.
However, the issue of risk is not limited to those with a disorder.
Consider the story of a 29-year-old delivery man known as Mr Guy. In mid-April, Mr. Guy visited his mother and they discussed her family issues and her expenses.
Mr Guy said his wife had just given birth and had stopped working to look after the child. The couple fought over jealousy and money. He also told his mother that he was fed up with these problems and wanted to get it over with.
At 5 p.m., someone called his mother to tell her that Mr Guy was threatening to kill himself by jumping off the Rama IV bridge. Mr. Guy’s father and mother went there. His family managed to dissuade him.
Mr. Guy did not suffer from depression or other mental disorders; he was stressed by family problems, the economy and debts.
Dr. Amporn said another difficult period is the transition from the full-time workforce to retirement.
People in this group may not be able to accept the change in their body, their age, their family role and the end of their career.
Most were also found to suffer from acute chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.
“Family is the best protection,” she said. “When people understand their illnesses, they can get treatment sooner.”