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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(4), 1135-1158;

Suicide Methods in Asia: Implications in Suicide Prevention

Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, 2F Medical Humanity Building, No. 1, Section 1, Ren-Ai Road, Zhong Zheng District, Taipei 10051, Taiwan
Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 1, Changde Street, Zhong Zheng District, Taipei 10048, Taiwan
Taipei City Psychiatric Center, Taipei City Hospital, 309 Songde Road, XinYi District, Taipei 11080, Taiwan
Institute of Public Health and Department of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, No. 155, Section 2, Linong Street, Bei Tou District, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Jockey Club Center for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 February 2012 / Revised: 13 March 2012 / Accepted: 20 March 2012 / Published: 28 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
PDF [353 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


As the largest continent in the World, Asia accounts for about 60% of World suicides. Preventing suicide by restricting access to suicide methods is one of the few evidence-based suicide prevention strategies. However, there has been a lack of systematic exploration of suicide methods in Asian countries. To amend this shortage, the current review examines the leading suicide methods in different Asian countries, their trend, their age- and sex- specific characteristics, and their implications for suicide prevention. In total, 42 articles with leading suicide methods data in 17 Asian countries/regions were retrieved. The epidemiologic characteristics and recent trends of common suicide methods reflect specific socio-cultural, economic, and religious situations in the region. Common suicide methods shift with the introduction of technologies and constructions, and have specific age- or sex-characteristics that may render the restriction of suicide methods not equally effective for all sex and age sub-groups. Charcoal burning, pesticide poisoning, native plant poisoning, self-immolation, and jumping are all prominent examples. In the information society, suicide prevention that focuses on suicide methods must monitor and control the innovation and spread of knowledge and practices of suicide “technologies”. It may be more cost-effective to design safety into technologies as a way of suicide prevention while there is no rash of suicides yet by the new technologies. Further research on suicide methods is important for public health approaches to suicide prevention with sensitivity to socio-cultural, economic, and religious factors in different countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: suicide; suicide method; Asia; trend; age; sex; technology; information; media; culture; religion; economic; public health suicide; suicide method; Asia; trend; age; sex; technology; information; media; culture; religion; economic; public health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Wu, K.-C.; Chen, Y.-Y.; Yip, P.S.F. Suicide Methods in Asia: Implications in Suicide Prevention. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 1135-1158.

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