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Police launches suicide hotline as numbers rise

By Sawsan Tabazah - Oct 12,2017 - Last updated at Oct 12,2017

AMMAN — As suicides and suicide attempts have been on the rise in Jordan, especially among young people, the Public Security Department (PSD) responded with setting up a specialised prevention unit to serve as a hotline.

Speaking at a workshop on the phenomenon at the Royal Police Academy on Wednesday, organised by the PSD and the National Council for Family Affairs, the PSD’s Criminal Information Administration Director Colonel Faisal Innab said that 120 cases of suicide were recorded in 2016 and 104 cases during the first nine months of 2017 with an average of 0.1 cases for every 10,000 persons in the Kingdom. 

Official figures also show that 486 suicide attempts were recorded in 2016, and 388 attempts by the end of the third quarter of 2017 with an average of 0.4 attempts for every 10,000 persons this year.

PSD Director Maj. Gen. Ahmad Sarhan Faqih, who acted as patron to the event, announced the launch of the suicide hotline as part of the PSD’s Family Protection Department’s (FPD) mission to deal with suicide attempts. 

FDP’s Captain Tareq Saaideh said that trained officers would receive calls through 911 or the hotline number that will be announced soon, and connect the caller with a specialised psychiatrist, forensic doctor and the closest police station in a conference call to prevent suicides through providing psychological support.

Most suicides and suicide attempts are committed in Amman followed by Irbid and Karak, according to the figures, which also show attempts on own life are more common among people between the ages 18 and 27.

Males commit suicides more than females, who have recorded a higher number in suicide attempts. 

Suicides committed by non-Jordanians constituted around 17 per cent of total cases in the first nine months of 2017, prominently by Syrian refugees. 

Col. Ahmad Tarawneh, director of the Police Rehabilitation Centre of Marka, said that police response time to suicide reports is 20 minutes in average, compared to the global average of 9. 

 

Atef Al Qassem, a psychiatrist and training and development expert at Noor Al Hussein Foundation, Institute for Family Health, said that the suicide problem has become a trend and requires the formation of a research committee to study the cases and determine predicators of suicidal behaviour. 

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