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Nearly 300,000 Commit Suicide Every Year

According to the Beijing Psychological Crisis Research and Intervention Center, in China, 287,000 people killed themselves each year and two million attempted suicide. Suicide has become the fifth biggest death reason for Chinese citizens. 

To deal with this serious social problem, the Beijing Psychological Crisis Research and Intervention Center sets a free round-the-clock hotline (800-810-1117) for consultation and suicide prevention. They also provide service through a payphone (010-62715275).


One of the hotline operators introduced that people who dial the hotline all, more or less, have some mental or emotional problems, but not aware of them. The operators have to be a good listener first, try to know more about the talker and judge his or her situation. When encountering a person with serious depression, they would intervene the talker with consolation and revelation.


Suicide is one of the syndromes of depression. Emergency measures should be taken in severe cases, including getting help from the public security departments and emergency centers. Family members of those who have suicide tendency should be informed when necessary in order to take precautions.


Xia Xueluan, professor from the Sociology Department of Peking University, pointed out that the increasing pressure of a modern society brings vehement emotional confrontation, easily making people lose their original faith and become goalless. The rise of suicide cases reflects the poor integration level of the Chinese society. The suicide hotline can be a buffer to suicide attempts and win some time for salvation, but it still needs help from social workers and communities to tackle the problem at the root.


In Western countries, there are usually 500 psychological workers for every million people, but in China, there are only three to five for the same size of population. Setting up a social security network both materially and spiritually is vital for suicide control, said Professor Xia. At present, however, China has not yet enough psychology-aid stations and its social salvation system is far from being perfect.


(China.org.cn by Li Liangdu, August 8, 2003)

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