World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 is observed on September 10th as an awareness day aimed to provide commitment and action to prevent suicide all over the world. The day helps to raise awareness amongst people to protect their loved ones from suicide and help them deal with mental disorders.
This day was first observed in 2003 by the collaboration of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH).
World Suicide Prevention Day Theme 2020, “working together to prevent suicide”, aims to make suicide prevention more effective globally.
In Thailand researchers have warned that the number of people driven to suicide by economic hardship could exceed the number of deaths due to Covid-19 infections. Even before the pandemic Thailand’s suicide rate was high. Suicide ranks second among the causes of unnatural death in the kingdom, behind road accidents and ahead of ’intentional homicide’. In 2019 nearly 10,000 locals died by suicide, according to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Official Thai government figures peg the country’s suicides to a lower rate, but even according to that rate a Thai citizen commits suicide every two hours on average, or a dozen people in total every single day. The number of attempted suicides is significantly higher.
The most at-risk groups include young men between the ages of 15 and 29 as well as women in their early 50s, according to official data.
On the WHO’s recent list of 183 countries surveyed, Thailand ranks 32nd with 14.4 suicides per 100,000 people. Within ASEAN, Thailand occupies the number one spot in terms of suicide per population, followed by Singapore (with a ratio of 11.2) and Laos (with a ratio of 8.6). The Philippines has the grouping’s lowest rate with a ratio of 3.2.
Thailand’s suicide rate has nearly doubled since 2002. Experts have pointed to a lack of adequate mental health assistance and economic hardship as two primary causes for the country’s persistently high rates of suicide.