Suicide in Bali 8 X the National Average

The number of people in Bali who committed suicide in 2023 stands at an interim total of 124. 

As reported by, Doctor Gusti Rai Putra Wiguna SpKJ, the chairman of the Association of Indonesian Mental Health Specialists (PDSKJI), discussed the latest data on suicide rates in Bali on Wednesday, 13 December 2023.

On Monday, 11 December 2023, a young man attempted to take his own life by jumping from the top of the Dewa Ruci Underpass into a busy traffic lane below. A day later, on Wednesday, 12 December 2023, police in Bali released forensic evidence indicating that a university student from North Sumatra found dead in his rented room in South Kuta had killed himself. 

Official data shows that Bali ranks among the top three provinces with the highest rates of suicide in Indonesia. 

In the first six months of 2023, Bali recorded 62 suicides. By the end of the first nine months of the year, the number of deaths increased to 92. Now, in December 2023, the suicide tally stands at 124.

Bali’s Suicide Rate 8X the National Average.

Meanwhile, Central Java has the highest number of suicides by province in 2023, with an interim total of 480. Analyzing the total, Dr. Gusti Rai Putra Wiguna commented: “But Central Java has a total population of 39 million people while Bali has only 4.5 million people. If we analyze the risk further, in Bali, there are 27 people committing suicide for every one million population. On a national basis, four people kill themselves for every one million residents. So Bali’s (rate of suicide) is eight times the average nationwide.”

Dr. Rai insists that an extraordinary effort is needed to reduce the suicide rate in Bali, with the government taking a more proactive role. The psychiatrist links the high suicide rate in Bali to a failure to treat mild and more severe cases of mental illness adequately. Adding: “In Indonesia, only one-half of the people suffering from mental illnesses receive any treatment. These numbers do not include those using narcotics, victims of violence, and those being bullied – these all have a big impact on high rates of mental illness.”

The mental health practitioner also blames the media for failing to help reduce suicide rates in Indonesia. He contends that suicide cases are more often misreported as criminal matters and not as suicides. 

The psychiatrist urges that cases of suicide be reported in an educative way, sharing details on the characteristics and behavior of people taking their own lives so future suicides can be anticipated and prevented. Dr. Rai said many people contemplating suicide become quiet and withdrawn or, conversely, can also sometimes suddenly become unusually friendly with everyone, begin giving away valuable possessions, and often discuss the subject of death.

Dr. Rai underlined the genuine need for 24-hour suicide helplines. In Bali, the BISA Helpline is now in operation. The LISA Helpline is operating after being temporarily paused when the service was overwhelmed with thousands of daily calls. 

The LISA Helpline is seeking young volunteers to undergo training and help staff the 24-hour helplines.

Dr. Rai closed, saying: “We are also working with the Denpasar Municipal Government to synergize the emergency call number of BPBD to allow ambulances to respond to cases of attempted suicide.”

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Bali Suicide Help Line Available 24/7

BISA SUICIDE Helpline in Bali

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