"60% of Taiwan youth consider suicide study - Thu, Nov 19, 2009 Reuters
TAIPEI - About 60 percent of Taiwan's youth have considered suicide while more than 30 percent lack direction in life, because of a lack of public role models and weakened family support, a magazine survey found this week.
Taiwan-based CommonWealth Magazine's 1st ever Life and Education Survey of 4,475 students between 15 and 22 found that most had thought about suicide, with 23% still considering it!! About 34% surveyed said they have no idea what to do in life!!!
Possible reasons for this trend, which surprised the surveyors, were:
1. 'an age of no role model' with the death of the super-tycoon, Mr. Wang Yong Qing, and the conviction for draft of ex-President Chen Shui Bian!;
2. the breakdown of big family into small one with both parents working and hence cossetted the kids to the point that they could not even handle the emotional stress of the death of a pet!;
3. the economic hardship resulting in record unemployment put further pressure on families with bread earner out of job and out of income!
Each year about 4,400 people committed suicide in a population of 23m!"
Lessons for me are:
1. overly simplistic reasons are being offered. We find our own role models. While larger than life figures are more influential, simple people like a dedicated and skilled teacher or a honest postal delivery worker who is always punctual and courteous can be a role model. Unless we are saying ALL adults behaviors are primarily motivated by money!;
2. the trend double-income family in an urban society is irreversible, we need to learn how to bring up our kids in such an environment. Instilling good values in school where the kids spent 50-60% of their days is important while the 1st and last few hours of the day at home interacting with parents are also critical. If these time are sucked up by TV time, it is gone! So, parents need to consciously CHANGE the habits at home after work! It cannot be left to nature! It has to be deliberate!!;
3. The government, while cannot be counted on to handle this challenge solely on its own, must provide fiscal incentive and financial assistance from the state's coffer to help. The pre- and post-school child care help is much appreciated though the QUALITY of the care-givers MUST be of a high standard. All these go back to the basic: finding people who believed that caring for the young of the nation is an important task that need emotional and intellectual power!