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Crisis. 2000;21(3):118-21.

Suicide rates and mental health services in modern China.

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  • 1Department of Psychological Medicine of Zhongshan Hospital, Shanghai Medical University, PR China.


Suicide rates in China have in the past been reported to be very low for a variety of historical and political reasons. In recent years, however, the reported suicide rates in China have increased alarmingly among certain age groups. This article reviews reports of the national rural suicide rates in China for 1992, gathered from the Annal of Chinese Public Health, which has previously never been reported publicly. The highest suicide rates occur in the rural areas and among young women and men over 60 years. These data reveal that suicide in China may have some unique characteristic associated with a variety of socio-cultural variables, such as traditional culture, social class, economic status, health care levels, and interpersonal problems. The author shows that lack of mental health services in rural areas in China may be considered one of associated reasons to the high rural suicide rate in China.

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