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Suicide deaths during pandemic could exceed virus-related deaths

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Stress with money and other worries, brought on by the pandemic, have led a significant number of people in Thailand to take their own lives. Those who have studied the subject in Thailand say the number of suicide deaths this year could exceed the number of coronavirus deaths.

Scholars in Chiang Mai University studied suicide cases that took place between late March and mid-April when the government tightened emergency measures to slow the spread of the virus. They found that 38 suicide attempts were driven by the lockdown, business closures, job losses and furloughs, according to Bangkok Post reports. Out of the 38 cases, 28 people died.

So far, 56 people have died from the coronavirus in Thailand. The total number of suicides this year is unknown, but there have been many reports of recent suicides, many people with money problems and job loss.

Just last month, a number of people took their own lives. Two university students in a suicide pact jumped off the Rama VIII Bridge in Bangkok. A 51 year old man jumped out of a hospital window on his last day of his 2 week quarantine upon returning home from Indonesia. And in a 24 hour span, 3 people jumped to their deaths in unrelated incidents in Bangkok and Sura Buri, about 90 kilometres northeast.

A British businessman jumped to his death last month as well. His wife told police the man had financial trouble due to the pandemic. A month prior, a young British man jumped after being stressed about his income.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional destress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

SOURCES:Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand | Chiang Rai Times | Chiang Rai Times

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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