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40,000 Vietnamese people commit suicide every year due to depression: study

40,000 Vietnamese people commit suicide every year due to depression: study

Thursday, April 27, 2023, 15:02 GMT+7
40,000 Vietnamese people commit suicide every year due to depression: study
Nguyen Thu Ha from the National Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health under Vietnam's Ministry of Health. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

Some 40,000 Vietnamese people end their life every year due to depression, four times higher the number of fatalities caused by traffic accidents, Nguyen Thu Ha from the National Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health under the Ministry of Health said at a seminar in Hanoi on Wednesday.

Many of those who committed suicide were workers driven to depression by stress, noise, chemicals, and psychophysiology-related factors in the workplace, Ha cited a study from the National Institute of Mental Health under Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi as part of a discussion on how to reduce workplace-related stress.

Aside from depression, long-term occupational stress can cause diabetes and high blood pressure.

Another major factor which contributes to workplace-induced stress relates to the level of responsibility an individual has for the lives of others, particularly healthcare workers and air traffic controllers who spend long hours ensuring that others are safe.

At the seminar, Dr. Pham Thi Thu Lan, deputy head of the Institute for Workers and Trade Unions, noted that workplace-induced depression is often accompanied by anxiety, irritability, loss of appetite, insomnia, loss of concentration, and headaches.

It is important to ensure that salaries cover workers’ basic needs as statistics from International Trade Union Confederation revealed that 83 percent of laborers worldwide are unable to make ends meet with the minimum wage in their countries, Lan said.

Lan also proposed policies to balance work and life, including the idea that labor unions launch hotlines to provide an outlet for laborers to relieve stress from work.

Delegates at a seminar held in Hanoi on April 26, 2023 to discuss solutions to prevent and reduce stress at workplaces. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

Delegates at a seminar held in Hanoi on April 26, 2023 to discuss solutions to prevent and reduce stress at workplaces. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

Occupational stress has three periods, according to Dr. Le Van Trinh, chairman of the Vietnam Occupational Safety and Health Association.

The first period lasts for several weeks, during which stressed workers notice faster heart and breathing rates accompanied by sweats and high blood pressure.

These workers may suffer from headaches, muscle rigidity, fatigue, chest pain, loss of concentration, and dementia.

During the second period, blood pressure continues to increase and workers become weary, sensitive, timid, worried, and angry.

After several months, those suffering from occupational stress face a risk of chronic diseases, including chest pain, diabetes, and arthritis. They should be hospitalized for treatment if they experience these symptoms.

It is critical that enterprises pay more attention to the mental health of their employees, especially post-partum women.

Trade unions should proactively enact measures to reduce workplace stress through salary increases, allowance policies, improvements to working environments, and by organizing artistic and sporting events.

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Thanh Ha - Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre News

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