Suicide Prevention in Rural China

With 21 percent of the world's population, China has between 30 and 40 percent of the world's suicides. Most of the suicides are in rural China, where the suicide rates are three times urban rates, and there are few mental health professionals and even fewer who have received adequate training. Led by Dr. Shuiyuan Xiao, Dean of Public Health in Central South University in Changsha, and our Principal Investigator in China on this project, SPI is training personnel in the villages and towns to recognize and refer individuals with depression, and/or risk for suicide to a county mental hospital for treatment. We are working with the Chinese Ministry of Health with a view to expanding this model throughout rural China. The Chinese government is sufficiently encouraged by the progress to date that they have asked Dr. Xiao, to begin training all psychiatirsts in the country who are involved in community mental health.