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China suicide rate is 2.3 times the global average
Central News Agency
11/18/2003



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BEIJING - China has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, with an overall suicide rate of 230 per million people, while the world average is only 100 per million. Chinaís suicide rate is 2.3 times the world average.

Data from the Beijing Psychological Crisis Intervention Center shows that suicide is one of the top five causes of death in mainland China, and the leading cause of death for 15- to 34-year-olds. Beijing Youth Daily quotes Crisis Center Director Lianyuan Cao as saying, "Suicide and psychological crises have already became important public health problems in China."

The investigation revealed the some of the main factors causing suicide are severe depression, low standards of living, chronic pressure, and serious personal problems; warning signs are a family history of suicide or a history of prior attempts, and having friends or acquaintances who have suicidal tendencies.

Not all Chinese who kill themselves are mentally ill; rather, suicide for them is an immediate escape from an intense personal conflict. Seventy percent of suicides or attempted suicides never seek help with their problems, while sixty percent of suicides and forty percent of attempted suicides had serious mental illnesses beforehand. Overseas suicide cases report very high rates of mental illness, up to 90%.

According to an investigation into 659 suicide attempts in China, only 38% had mental problems and many had attempted on an impulse; 37% thought about suicide only five minutes before they actually tried it and 60% had considered suicide for the first time less than two hours before. Marital and financial problems were cited as the main reasons. Sixty percent of the people in the study had some sudden personal or financial problem two days prior to the attempt. The research also showed that each individualís suicide has a profound psychological effect on five other people.

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