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Mental crisis centre to help stop suicide
By Bao Xinyan (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-03-09 08:56

A mental crisis treatment and rescue centre, the first of its kind in China, will be set up soon in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province.

The crisis intervention center is ready to help people with problems. [newsphoto]
To be established by Nanjing Brain Hospital, the centre will have three departments - a mental crisis and suicide intervention centre; an emergency centre; and a mental disease centre.

A hospital official surnamed Guo said the first department is made up of two sections - one for outpatients and a free hotline (862583712977) for psychological advice; and the other which is responsible for treating people who try to kill themselves.

"Our hospital has a long history of providing psychological advice and mental healing for those people who want to commit suicide," said Guo, adding that a suicide intervention centre set up in the hospital in 1991 was the first in the country.

It is estimated that since then, the centre has succeeded in preventing about 1,600 people from committing suicide.

Statistics show that about 280,000 people kill themselves each year nationwide and about 2 million attempt suicide, of whom 80 per cent do not seek any medical help.

"Actually, most of the people who come for help do not really want to end their lives. Through counselling by our experts, they gradually get back the courage to live," said Guo.

The hospital has had an intensive care unit from 2001; and a department of mental diseases since it was founded in 1947.

With excellent doctors, advanced equipment and rich experience, the hospital is well placed to set up the mental crisis centre.

"It will provide a chain of medical services, from persuasion, intervention, rescue, psychological advice to mental healing," added Guo.

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