Thailand may be called the “Land of Smiles” but a recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that this may be far from the truth. According to the study, Thailand leads ASEAN for number of suicides.
Once every two hours, a Thai takes their own life, and every 9.55 minutes, one attempts suicide, according to the latest set of statistics on mental health in Thailand.
“These suicide figures are gravely worrying and the government is paying huge attention to them. We need to place a lot more emphasis on this problem.
Society needs to look around for those who need help. We must not leave anyone behind,” Traisulee Traisoranakul, a deputy government spokeswoman, said during the opening of the “Mental Health Thailand, No One Must Be Left Behind” campaign.
According to the National Suicide Prevention Centre, as many as 53,000 Thais try to kill themselves every year, while 4,000 are successful. “Those whose suicide attempt fails, often try again,” Traisuree said. “Also, when looking at Thailand’s statistics on unnatural death. The number of suicides is higher than murders.”
Suicide now ranks second among causes of unnatural death in Thailand. Following road accidents, and exceeds both manslaughter and murder.
The campaign is designed to coincide with National Mental Health Week. It runs in the first week of November each year.
The Department of Mental Health is holding a mental health fair on Saturday and Sunday at The Nine Center Rama 9.