Religious Ceremony Held at Pakse Bridge After Three Suicides

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Religious Ceremony Held at Pakse Bridge After Three Suicides
Monks during the tradition Buddhist ceremony held at the Pakse Bridge on Thursday. ( Photo : Nongna )

Monks and laypeople gathered at Pakse Bridge on Thursday, performing a religious ceremony to bless the bridge following a wave of suicides.

The ceremony was aimed at purging negative spirits and was attended by family members of the deceased.

The recent deaths of a 15-year-old boy and a 22-year-old man, who both committed suicide at the same location, have prompted this religious ceremony. The event will also pay tribute to Inteng Keobouala, a Mor Lam singer who took her own life on the bridge in September 2022 after reportedly facing financial difficulties.

A 2021 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that around 210,000 people in Laos suffer from mental, neurological, or substance use conditions. Quite alarmingly, over 95% of individuals with serious mental illnesses go untreated, and 75% of those living in rural areas lack access to mental health services.