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02/03/2013

Prefecture to establish Suicide Prevention Resource Center

It was unveiled that the Shiga Prefectural Government (SPG) formulated a policy to establish the Suicide Prevention Resource Center in 2013 to provide comprehensive counseling and support. The Center is expected to play a pivotal role to deal with suicides triggered by various factors.

There are three elements that will constitute the new center. First, SPG is to assign a clinical psychologist and a psychiatric social worker to the Center, in order to indentify what kind of support should be provided. Second, the Shiga Prefecture Suicide Prevention Liason Council, currently located in Prefecture Office, will move to the Center, and will function as a catalyst for networks among related agencies. Third, SPG is to commission the Shiga Society of Certified Clinical Psychologists to handle consultation requests made through telephone, with the aim of enhancing some counselling and guidance functions.

The number of suicides in Shiga is steadily increasing. From 2009 to 2011, there were 326 cases, 356 cases, and 376 cases reported in each year. 2011 has marked the worst record since 1996. The suicides were triggered by various factors such as sickness, loneliness, poverty, mental illness, and so on.

"We intensively need to tackle the suicide problems, and we hope the new Center will sufficiently contribute to the prevention of those tragic events," says a SPG official.

(Chunichi Shimbun, January 12, 2013)

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