25th July 2020 – (Hong Kong) The number of suicides among Hong Kong people has risen. The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong (SBHK) analysed the cases of the Coroner’s Court in 2019 and the service figures of the association. It showed that there were 993 suicide deaths last year, 38 more than in 2018 and the most since 2016. The suicide rate last year was 13.25, that is, 13.25 people per 100,000 people committed suicide, and an average of 2.72 people committed suicide every day, which was also higher than the suicide rate of 12.8 the year before. Among suicide cases, people over 70 years old accounted for the most, accounting for 21.2%, about 210 cases, followed by 50 to 59 years old, about 185 cases, accounting for 18.6% of the total.
For young people, there are about 108 suicide cases between 20 and 29 years old. There were also 32 suicide cases between the ages of 10 and 19, among which there was 1 case between the ages of 0 and 9 years old. The number of cases increased by 4 and 1 respectively from the previous year. In addition, the association received 12,951 requests for emotional support last year, a decrease of 540 from 2018. The association revealed that from March to December last year, it received about 930 requests for help related to social incidents, mainly involving emotional distress, and a small number of cases had a low to high suicide crisis. And it will be affected by social incidents, employees will be blocked from going to work, or the number of requests for help will be affected. In addition, the association received 12,951 requests for emotional support last year, a decrease of 540 from 2018.
The association revealed that from March to December last year, it received about 930 requests for help related to social incidents, mainly involving emotional distress, and a small number of cases had a low to high suicide crisis. Under the COVID-19 epidemic, the unemployment rate rose to 6.2%, and the number of unemployed reached 240,000. When asked whether the number of suicide cases will increase this year, Clarence Tsang, the Executive Director of SBHK said that he cannot predict the number, but he is expressly worried about the situation. As the mental and emotional health of Hong Kong people is obviously affected by the epidemic, citizens can only return home after work. Without other activities, you will feel nervous and anxious emotionally. He took the 2003 SARS period as an example. Suicide cases increased. He believed that the economic downturn that year would affect the suicide rate. He described the two as having a “good relationship.” He believes that the catering, tourism and transportation industries have been hit hard by the epidemic, and the government should provide relief measures, including financial support, to alleviate the economic pressure on the people and help overcome the difficulties.