Press Release
October 3, 2013

Poe files resolution to address rising suicide deaths in RP

Senator Grace Poe has pushed for the creation of a suicide prevention program aimed at providing help units for people suffering from depression and those who want to "opt out of life."

Poe has filed Senate Resolution 257 urging the Senate committee on health and demography to conduct a study, in aid of legislation, on the relatively high rates of suicide and depression cases in the country toward formulating a focused suicide prevention program.

"In the Philippines, many people still think that depression is not an illness, but something that one eventually snaps out of, and that's the reason why so many people who are suffering from depression feel embarrassed to seek help," Poe said.

Records from the National Statistics Office indicate the suicide rate from 1984 to 2005 went up from 0.46 to seven out of every 200,000 men, while the incident rate for women jumped from 0.24 to two for every 200,000 women.

Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, said the figures are lower than the actual suicide incidents due to under-reporting.

Poe noted that in a country which is predominantly Catholic and where suicide remains to be unacceptable, suicide incident among family members will likely be reported as deaths from other causes.

Also, Poe noted reports that depression remains to be the number one cause of suicide in the Philippines, followed by death of a loved one, separation or break up from a relationship, loss of custody of children, loss of job, house and money, terminal illness, chronic physical pain, loss of hope, and those who were victims of violence, rape, physical or verbal assault and serious legal problems.

"The importance of focused suicide prevention program should be studied and assessed by the government to help people with suicidal tendencies and those suffering from depression," Poe said.

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