By: Chiu Chun-chin and Y.F. Low
Taipei, March 26 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said Saturday that Taiwan has seen a significant decrease in suicide cases in recent years and is no longer a country with a “high suicide prevalence rate” by World Health Organization standards.
The achievement should be largely attributed to efforts made by volunteers with Taiwan Lifeline International, who received 170,000 phone calls last year alone, Ma said while addressing an annual conference of the suicide prevention organization in Taoyuan.
The president said Taiwan’s suicide rate reached its highest level two years before he assumed office, and suicide prevention became one of his major focuses after taking office.
Volunteers have played a key role in such efforts, he said.
The suicide rate in Taiwan is highest among senior citizens 65 years and over, but the suicide rate for the age group has dropped by 5.3 percentage points over the last six years, Ma said. [SOURCE]