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An Island to Die For?

Government Figures Showing High Rates of Suicide in Bali Have Local Authorities Concerned.

(11/4/2006) Bali has the dubious distinction of ranking top among Indonesia provinces for rates of death by suicide, according to results made public at a seminar held in Bali on October 6, 2006. Data collected counted 127 suicide deaths in Bali between January and September 2006.

A closer look at the data connected with suicide rates in Bali, according to information published in the Indonesian language DenPost, showed that 25 suicides occurred in the age group 31-40 years; 21 deaths in the age grouping 21-30 years; and 21 deaths among teenagers between 11-20 years.

A somewhat morbid fascination with the detailed statistical analysis of suicide in Bali was presented at the seminar entitled "Seeking a Solution for Suicides" which also reported that Wednesdays followed by Sundays were the days most preferred by those taking their own lives. Moreover, morning hours between 06:00 a.m and noon was the favored time slot for taking your own life in Bali.

According to the data, the overwhelmingly preferred method of self-destruction in Bali was by hanging (79.52%) followed by poisoning (15%), self-mutilation (2.4%), self-immolation (1.6%) and drowning (1.6%).

Bali's highest rate of suicide is reported from Karangasem, followed by Buleleng and Karangasem.

Male suicide outranks female by a factor 196%.

Poverty Not the Main Factor in Balinese Suicides

Speaking at the opening of a Community Outreach Office (Kantor Layanan Hidup Bahagia) in Singaraja, North Bali, on Friday, November 3, 2006, well known local psychiatrist, Professor Dr. LK Suryani, said that economic difficulties were not the leading cause of suicides in Bali, with family background playing a more prominent role in self-desruction cases.

According to Dr. Suryani, quoted in the Indonesian language Bali Post, while economic considerations may be one factor in local suicides, financial circumstances are a secondary consideration in comparison to psychological make up of the individual.

The new Community Outreach office in Singaraja will provide counseling services to local residents. The Kantor Layanan Hidup Bahagia's address is at BTN Puri Sukasada A/35 in Singaraja. Telephone ++62-(0)362-27275 or ++62-(0)8123964415.