One suicide every two hours in Taiwan
More than 4,000 people committed suicide in Taiwan in 2009, averaging almost one death every two hours, the Department of Health said Thursday, DPA reported.
A total of 4,063 suicides were registered, down 65 from the previous year. The 2009 suicide rate was 17.6 per 100,000 people, the department said, down from 17.9 in 2008.
The number of men who committed suicide was 2.2 times more than that of women, the department said in its annual report.
Chu Kai-yu, director of Taipei Lifeline, a counselling organization, blamed job loss, old age and health problems for the suicides.
She said that in 2009, the helpline provided counselling to 60,000 people, and prevented 143 people from taking their lives.
Since 1982, suicide has been the ninth leading cause of death in Taiwan. The most common methods are carbon monoxide poisoning using burning charcoal, leaping from tall buildings and igniting gas tanks.
Among Asian countries, Japan has the highest suicide rate. In 2009, 32,845 Japanese took their lives, averaging nearly 90 suicides per day or one every 16 minutes.