Shanghai Daily reports that majority of those seeking help from a suicide prevention line in Shanghai came from two vastly different groups: the unemployed, and white collar workers.
60 percent of the 1,600 calls to the Life Education and Crisis Intervention Centre were from these groups. Most callers used the hotline in the early morning or late at night and 70 percent were aged between 20 to 40. There were more female callers than male, and the majority of those seeking help were single.
The Life Education and Crisis Intervention Centre received 632 calls in its first month of operation in December, 2012. Global Times reports that the 60 volunteer counsellors that work in shifts at centre all hold state-level certificates in psychology and have received suicide intervention training.
China’s suicide rate, at 22.23 people per 100,000 is amongst the highest in the world. It is less than neighbour South Korea (31.7 per 100,000) but higher than Japan, where the rate is 21.7 people per 100,000.
Suicides rarely go unnoticed in this country, as the very high and dense population of this country make the act of killing oneself unfortunately highly visible. Often it is eerie and traumatic, like for the photographer candidly snapped two people jumping from a bridge over the Yangtze River.
Fortunately, the dense population does however allow opportunities for bystanders to intervene and prevent people from killing themselves. Recently a man jumped into the Suzhou Creek to save a woman from drowning and there are many more examples of heroes in China who have saved lives in this way.
No one should ever have to feel like death is the only answer, so be sure to know the signs of suicidal ideation when you see them.
The number for the Life Education and Crisis Intervention Centre is 021-5161-9995. Further help is available from LifeLineShanghai on 021-6279-8990.
[Image credit: Baidu]