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201 call Shanghai suicide hotline in 1st week (2)

(China Daily)

09:30, December 17, 2012

Volunteers will contact the 110 or 120 emergency hotlines immediately if they suspect a life may be in danger, he adds.

So far, about 100 volunteers have been trained, and they work in shifts for the 24-hour service.

According to statistics by the center, most phone calls were received between 10 pm and 8 am. Peak times for psychological crisis occurred on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.

"So far, we have only mastered one week's figures. After several weeks' operation, we will sort and analyze the data, and identify the peak periods when people most need psychological crisis intervention," Lin says.

The World Health Organization said that each year about 287,000 people kill themselves in China, while about 2 million more attempt suicide.

The first suicide intervention hotline on the Chinese mainland was opened in Beijing in 2002. Since then, similar hotlines have opened across the country, such as in Guangzhou in Guangdong province, Hangzhou in Zhejiang province and Nanjing in Jiangsu province.

"In Taiwan, a 24-hour suicide intervention hotline can receive as many as 100,000 calls each year on average. But on the Chinese mainland, the number is still lagging behind," Lin says. "In this regard, psychological aid and crisis intervention need to be widely publicized."

In addition to enrolling volunteers citywide, Life Education and Crisis Intervention Center will also organize public education and training activities at local schools, communities and companies.

An online platform for psychological health guidance and suicide intervention is also expected to be operating within three to six months.

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