People in Northern Thailand Committing Suicide Over Finances
Police in Northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai Province have reported a woman, 68, and her son, 41, committed suicide in their home yesterday. Chiang Mai Police said they were found lying side by side, dead, with a BBQ grill filled with ashes next to their bodies.
According to the sister of the deceased woman, the three lived together after the mother and son returned to Chiang Mai from Bangkok four years ago. Over the past few months, however, both mother and son had been complaining over their finances. They had both lost their jobs and had no income, CityNews reported.
The 65 year old sister said that she had left the house to do some errands and returned to find the dead bodies. There was also a suicide note left by their bodies. The note thanked the remaining sister for her good care and telling her that this was the best solution.
Meanwhile, A 46 year-old school teacher was found dead in his car also with a burnt out BBQ. Chiang Mai Police say that it was another case of suicide.
The 46 year old teacher taught at a school in Chiang Mai city lived in a house which he bought a few years ago. Relatives said that the man had been suffering from some illnesses and was also stressed by life and his financial burdens. According to Chiang Mai Police he left a suicide note to his relatives.
Suicide on Social Media in Thailand
Thailand’s Department of Mental Health said it has seen a 22% rise in the suicide rate over the past six months.
Mental Health Department Director-General Dr. Kiartipoom Wongrachit said that the rise in the country’s suicide rate is of great concern. Dr. Kiartipoom said 2,551 suicide cases, or 3.89 in every 100,000 of the population, were reported in the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 2,092 cases for the same period last year.
Although there are built-in systems in social media, such as Facebook, to screen out VDO clips portraying self-harming or suicides, Dr. Kiartipoom said officials have detected increasing signs of suicide risk on social media. Such as farewell messages or self-harming plans.
“These people in distress are in need of help immediately” he said. Adding, however, that is often difficult for health officials to contact them.
Hence, he said that the department had solicited help from CSD police, as well as social media influencers, in a pro-active approach to help these people. Setting up of a hotline, 1323, to provide consultations to people in need of help.
Even more the police have sought help from such influencers as Drama Addict, Mam Po Dum and More Lab Panda, adding that local police have also been recruited to help to prevent suicides.