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Opinion

Island View: Island of lost souls

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The recent death of American national Nathan D House is just one of many incidents in which people travel to this tropical paradise to end their lives.

Though the death of Mr House is still under investigation, the note he supposedly left behind, as well as a website under his name detailing his well-articulated thoughts surrounding the topic of the right to die, left little to the imagination.

Mr House’s death comes two weeks before the one-year-mark of the death of 21-year-old British national Liam Colven, who hired a taxi to take him from his hotel in Bang Tao to the Thalang Shooting Range last year, where he turned a gun on himself less than 24-hours after his arrival on the island.

It is hard to imagine why anyone would want to end his life, unless one is in that situation – not to mention that mental illness is severely overlooked in most cultures and cases.

To lose someone is devastating. To lose someone via suicide is even more so. However, to lose someone via suicide while he or she is in a different country must be absolutely excruciating.

Not only do family members have to grieve the death of their loved one, they are also forced to deal with embassies, police and body repatriation, all through a country that most likely speaks another language and has different customs and legal issues to deal with.

Recently the Phuket Gazette published an article that highlighted the need for families to make sure that their children are mentally prepared to travel alone.

“Families must ensure that their children have had enough exposure or street smarts to handle themselves in unfamiliar situations when sending them out to face the world, so to speak. If your child has never seen the outside of his or her college or home town before an adventure in Thailand, is it a wild leap of the imagination to say that there is a chance her or she may not fare well?” the article asks.

Therefore, if there are signs that a loved one may be depressed or contemplating suicide, or is just not mature enough to travel solo, it may be a cause for concern if he or she plans a trip abroad alone.
In the meantime, be safe, be alert and never be afraid to reach out to someone and ask for help.

— Debbie Adams

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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