Men have higher suicide rate than women: official

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–While the suicide rate among men is much higher than women, fewer men would seek psychiatric help when they feel “down,” a Taipei health official said yesterday. Seventy percent of those who killed themselves in the country last year were men, while only 30 percent were women, Liu Yue-ping (劉越萍), chief of the Taipei Department of Health’s Nursing Care Division, told reporters yesterday. The suicide rate also was higher among men in Taipei last year, according to Liu, who revealed that of the Taipei citizens who killed themselves last year, 64 percent were men, and 36 percent were women.

By age, the rate was highest among senior citizens and second highest among people 45 to 64 years of age. A greater number of men age 45 to 65, however, died by suicide than in other age groups, who made up 34 percent of all men who killed themselves last year.

The more than 2,000 suicide attempts reported to the Taipei Suicide Prevention Center last year provide a clue to how the sources of pressure vary with suicide rates in different age groups.

Young people age 14 or under wanted to kill themselves mainly because of family-related emotional issues, people age 15 to 24 wanted to commit suicide mainly because of relationship issues, people age 25 to 64 were mostly motivated by family and economic issues, including unemployment, while senior citizens were mostly egged on by prolonged ailments.

Statistics released by Taipei’s Community Psychiatric Consultation Outpatient Department further shows, of those who take advantage of the service, men account for 31.5 percent, while women account for 68.5 percent.

It shows men are unwilling to reveal their pent-up feeling even when they feel “down” and exhausted.

The Taipei Suicide Prevention Center encourages men to overcome their reluctance and reminds their families to help them by paying close attention to the goings-on and changes in their lives. Should they reject the goodwill and concern of others, their families should try by both linguistic and non-linguistic means to express their worries, let them know they care, and seek professional help, said a press release.

The Taipei Suicide Prevention Center can be reached at 1999, ext. 8858, and the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Headline is 0800788995.