Increase Suicide Prevention and Awareness in China

Target: National People’s Congress

Goal: Urge the Chinese government to improve and increase suicide prevention and awareness services for those in need.

China has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Every year, 287,000 people commit suicide in China, while approximately two million attempt suicide. Half of these suicides are committed by women in rural areas. In urban areas, stress and depression cause 70 to 80 percent of suicides. Currently, there are only 19 professional suicide intervention institutes in China. Suicide numbers could be drastically reduced if more counseling facilities, depression hotlines, and medication were provided.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 34 in China. The main reason behind the high rate of suicide among youths is the extreme societal pressure to perform well at school and to find employment. Those who do not score high marks on exams or get into top universities are often berated and looked down upon. These attitudes reflected on a person can lead to depression and despair. In rural areas, a large number of women commit suicide due to family disputes or restricted rights, both of which can lead to major depression. Unfortunately, depression and other mental disorders have not received enough attention from the government. Treatment for mental illnesses is not covered by China’s medical insurance system, so many patients choose to suppress the problem and avoid treatment. There is also a lack of depression awareness campaigns, suicide hotlines, and therapy programs in China.

Greater public awareness of and understanding of depression is the key to ameliorating the suicide rate in China. With proper government support, more Chinese citizens can get access to the healthcare they need. Early diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses are important in preventing suicide. Those who have attempted suicide should also have access to therapy and psychological treatments. Sign the petition below to encourage the Chinese government to improve and increase suicide prevention programs.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear National People’s Congress,

It is disheartening to hear that China has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Approximately 287,000 people in China end their lives every year. Half of these suicides are committed by women in rural areas, and the majority of these suicides occur among people between 15 and 34 years old. I would like to urge you to improve suicide prevention and depression awareness programs in the country in efforts to reduce the suicide rate.

The main reason behind the high rate of suicide among Chinese youths is the extreme societal pressure to perform well in school. Those who do not meet this criterion are often berated and harshly judged. These negative attitudes can lead to depression. In rural areas, many women are depressed because of family disputes, low social status, and lack of rights. Unfortunately, depression and other mental disorders have not received enough attention from the government. Treatment for depression is not covered by China’s medical insurance. In addition, there are only 19 professional suicide intervention institutes in the country. These factors, combined with the lack of depression-awareness campaigns, suicide hotlines, and therapy programs, contribute to the high rate of suicide in China.

It is important for the Chinese government to increase greater public awareness and understanding of depression. Chinese citizens should also be able to afford the treatment that they need, as early diagnosis and preventative treatment are important for mental health. Please consider increasing the number of suicide intervention institutes in your country and improving suicide awareness campaigns.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Baker131313 via Wikimedia Commons

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