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Beijing to launch anti-suicide app   

北京拟推首个“预防自杀”APP 3年内有望完成开发

2014-09-10 11:28 Ecns.cn Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

(ECNS) – Beijing will launch a mobile app in three years to battle depression.

With suicide being one of the leading causes of death in China, Beijing has kicked off development of an app to curb the suicide rate on the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept 10, the Beijing News reported.

Yang Fude, director of Beijing's Huilongguan Hospital, said the app can take a mental assessment of users. It can monitor indices of anxiety, allow users to consult a doctor or chat with a robot to relieve pressure.

According to WHO statistics, about 120,000 people die from suicide in China each year.

However, only 21 percent of those with depression get diagnosed in China, well below the world's average of 55.65 percent. Only 10 percent of the patients get treated.

The recent deaths of American entertainer Robin Williams and Chinese translator Sun Zhongxu have brought depression and suicide back in the spotlight.

Many people lack a proper assessment of their mental health. Often, sufferers of depression don't have a correct understanding of the disease and refuse to talk openly about mental illness. As a result, they fail to seek professional help.

Launching the app could help raise awareness and facilitate mental health treatment, Yang said.

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