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How to prevent suicides?

Updated: 2014-12-10 07:29
(China Daily)

Comment on "Beware of suicidal minds online" (China Daily, Dec 6)

As a regular reader of China Daily USA, I came across the article on suicidal minds online. I encountered such a situation last year on Facebook and WeChat (US version of Weixin). It involved a young woman from rural China whose Western boyfriend studying in China insisted she undergo abortion when she became pregnant. After she had the abortion, he ended the relationship at the insistence of his parents, who thought it would harm his father's political career.

The young woman then started posting comments about committing suicide. She uploaded disturbing photographs of her attempts to cut her wrist. I made several attempts to try and get her help, and even contacted China Daily USA and Air China to see if either could provide me with some kind of suicide prevention hotline. The only suggestion I got was to try and contact the local authorities where the young woman lived.

But that did not help because I can only speak a few words of Chinese, certainly not enough to have a conversation with an official. As a result, I was unable to accomplish anything.

Fortunately, the young woman calmed down after a few weeks. What I hoped to find in your article was some kind of information about suicide help/prevention hotlines or other relevant contact information. People cannot be prepared to deal with such situations until they are told not just how they should act, but who they should contact and how.

Months later, I came across a website that lists suicide help hotlines for every country that has them: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

Please consider writing a follow-up article that provides such important information. Thank you.

Craig Reynolds, via e-mail

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