Monday, September 14, 2009

suicide versus H1N1

A visiting expert on suicide makes the point in the Korea Herald that far more people die of suicide in South Korea than from swine flu:
Visiting here for an academic conference, consulting suicidologist Gary McConahay was impressed by the nation's preventive measures taken against the H1N1 flu virus, a subtype of the influenza A.

"When I got off the airplane, I was greeted by very nice people who handed me some sanitarian wipes for my hands. Before I got further down the hall, some persons put a little device in my ear to measure my temperature," he said.

"Everywhere I go, at the Ehwa Womans University where I'm staying, in stores and in restaurants, I get reminded the importance of the H1N1 virus."

However, the American specialist in suicide intervention said he could not find any poster preventing people from killing themselves, adding, "Many, many more people are dying from suicide than the H1N1."
True that. And while there is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison (H1N1 allowed to go unchecked could lead to a much bigger public health problem that dwarfs suicides), it is a valid point that more public awareness about suicide prevention is in order.

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