25 percent of suicides in 2016 in Taiwan involved seniors: center
Jun 23, 2017LegalComments Off on 25 percent of suicides in 2016 in Taiwan involved seniors: center
Taipei--Taiwan reported 976 suicides among senior citizens in 2016, accounting for about 25 percent of the total suicides in that year, according to statistics released Friday by the Taiwan Suicide Prevention Center (TSPC).
Suicides among people aged 65 and over in Taiwan in 2016 accounted for 25.9 percent of the total suicides that year, representing an increase of 8.8 percent from 2015, TSPC Chief Executive Officer Liao Shih-cheng (???) said at a news conference.
Meanwhile, it is estimated that senior citizens in Taiwan will have a suicide rate of 32.3 per 100,000 people in 2017, compared with an average rate of 16 per 100,000 among people in all age groups, the center's statistics show.
Liao attributed the relatively higher suicide rate among seniors to factors such as having a strong desire to die, living alone and having an illness that makes it harder to survive a suicide attempt.
Commenting on the statistics, Chen Li-chung (???), director-general of the Department of Mental and Oral Health under the Minister of Health and Welfare, said that senior citizens are likely to attempt suicide because of poor health, loneliness, poverty and lack of a social life.
Chen also noted a high risk of depression among seniors, which could also lead to suicidal feelings.
He expressed hope that the government's long-term care program for seniors will help reduce the suicide rate among this age group. Social workers and caregivers who take care of senior citizens living alone should also pay attention to their mental health, he added.
Although suicide has not been among the top 10 causes of death in Taiwan for seven consecutive years, the 2017 suicide rate of 16 per 100,000 population is still higher than the rate of 15.7 per 100,000 in 2015, the center said.