The suicide rate has increased by 22% in Thailand in the first six months of this year during the Covid-19 pandemic, compared to the same period last year, according to the Department of Mental Health.
Kiattiphum Wongrachit, department director-general, yesterday spoke out on World Suicide Prevention Day, citing last year's statistics that saw a total of 4,419 victims, or six out of every 100,000 Thais, commit suicide for reasons relating to relationships, illness, drinking and poverty.
In the first six months of this year, 2,551 people killed themselves, compared with 2,092 in the same period last year.
Dr Kiattiphum said the department is very concerned over warnings of suicide attempts being posted on social media. A rescue unit on social media is vital to connect those in need to assistance, in addition to current aid through the department hotline 1323, he added.
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, the department and Crime Suppression Division are working to launch suicide prevention measures, with the aid of social media influencers.