Year: 2022 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2022), 52(1), 4-13. SIEC No: 20221181


In 2002, a suicide prevention program for visitors was implemented in Cheung Chau, an offshore island with 21,000 residents and many visitors. This research revisited the intervention and evaluated its long-term effectiveness. Insights are provided into implementing a sustainable intervention.


Suicide death records (2007–2017) of Cheung Chau residents and visitors were retrieved. Information related to suicide method and sociodemographic characteristics of people who died by suicide were explored. Bivariate analyses were conducted to examine differences between visitors and residents; visitors and residents who died in Cheung Chau; and residents who died in or outside Cheung Chau.


After post-implementation period, suicide rate for visitors and residents increased. Visitors were generally younger than the residents with a different distribution of type of housing. Most of the visitors killed themselves by charcoal burning, and nearly half of the residents used hanging.


Long-term evaluation and monitoring of suicide prevention programs and sustained efforts are crucial to ensure program success. The prevention program in Cheung Chau was initially effective, but its long-term effects wore off. Both the mental health needs of visitors and residents should be addressed. Refinement of the current program and sustainable efforts are required for ensuring long-term success.