Special team set up to prevent suicides

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The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) and Department of Mental Health (DMH) have jointly set up a special team to monitor social-media users and see if any comments indicate they have an intention to kill themselves.

An operational system should be ready within this year to deal with suicides, which are on the rise.

CSD chief Pol Maj-General Jirapob Puridet said his officers will be cooperating with DMH and media influencers round the clock. He said as soon as CSD learns about a person who has the tendency of committing suicide, it will inform local police, who will then have this person taken to the Department of Mental Health for treatment.

Dr Kiatiboom Vongrachit, DMH director general, said last year there were some 4,419 suicides. However, he said, in the first six months of this year – since the Covid-19 outbreak – some 2,551 people had killed themselves compared to 2,092 in the first half of 2019.

The top reason for suicide was relationship problems, followed by mental illness, financial problems and alcoholism.