Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Majority of suicides in Cambodia happen between ages of 15-19

Majority of suicides in Cambodia happen between ages of 15-19

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man who committed suicide in Koh Kong on Monday. KOH KONG POLICE

Majority of suicides in Cambodia happen between ages of 15-19

Nearly 250 people have committed suicide across Cambodia in the first three months of this year, with Phnom Penh having the highest number of suicide deaths, according figures from the National Police seen by The Post on April 19.

“A total of 247 suicides or suicide attempts occurred resulting in 242 deaths and five injured in the capital and all provinces but Kep and Pailin,” the report said.

Phnom Penh had the highest number of suicides or attempts at 31, with 30 deaths and one injured survivor.

In the provinces, Banteay Meanchey had 29 deaths and no survivors. Kampong Cham came third with 25 deaths, followed by Battambang with 18 deaths and three injured survivors.

The latest case, not mentioned in the police report, took place on April 19, when a 30-year-old man committed suicide by slashing his throat with a knife. Local police said the man was mentally ill, had been using drugs and drinking alcohol and had tried to commit suicide many times in the past.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Cambodia has seen an increasing number of suicides since 2018. In a recent report, WHO said that since 2018 a total of 836 people had committed suicide in Cambodia and most of those who took their own lives were between the ages of 15-19.

WHO said that more than 90 per cent of youths who committed suicide in low-income countries in 2016 did so because of serious mental illnesses compounded by an absence of treatment services and support from the community.

Yim Sobutra, an expert on mental health at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh, told The Post that in Cambodia most of those who committed suicide are taking drugs or are alcoholics, which either caused or exacerbated an existing mental illness, ultimately leading to their suicide.

“Those people have mental illnesses like depression due to the lack of mental health support and societal problems related to motivation, poverty, violence and discrimination,” he said.

Chhort Bunthang, a psychology professor at the International Relations Institute, said those people may be shortsighted and are not able to put their personal problems in perspective.

He observed that sometimes the person’s problems were actually very minor and yet they still resorted to suicide, which he said he regards as selfishness because taking one’s own life always has a devastating impact on that person’s family and friends.


  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At