The Health Bureau (SSM) said in a statement on Tuesday that it recorded 36 suicide cases in the first half the year, coinciding with the Covid-19 crisis, up by six cases year-on-year.
The statement noted that according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, each year 800,000 people commit suicide, in other words, one person commits suicide every 40 seconds in the world.
The statement said that the Health Bureau recorded 66 suicides last year, 50 of which were Macao residents – 29 males and 21 females. The statement pointed out that last year had a record-low number of suicides. However, the statement also said that there is a possibility that the novel coronavirus pandemic has caused psychological and financial distress, hence the number of suicide cases has increased again this year.
According to the statement, tomorrow is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). The statement said that the WHO and International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) decided to entitle this year’s theme as “Work Together to Prevent Suicide”.
The statement underlined that the aim of the annual WSPD is to promote the idea of suicide prevention. The statement also said that the WHO has organised a string of events globally to raise awareness, such as encouraging people to light a candle and put it by a window at 8 pm tomorrow to commemorate all those who took their own lives and to show support for the world’s suicide prevention work.
The statement also said that there are many reasons behind each suicide case, adding that in order to help lower the numbers, people should keep in touch with people around them and show more affection.
The statement said that if one is feeling overwhelmed, one must seek professional help. The statement noted that the Health Bureau has health centres in the areas of Tap Seac, Fai Chi Kei, Areia Preta, Ocean Gardens and Our Lady of Carmo-Lago that provide psychological support.
Addresses and telephone numbers for all centres can be found on the SSM website.
Meanwhile, the bureau also provides financial and technical support for non-profit organisations to provide counselling services to different communities in Macao.
The bureau stressed that the psychological support services are free of charge, adding that it welcomes people in need of counselling to visit any of the centres.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)