Spread suicide prevention awareness this Monday

Spread suicide prevention awareness this Monday

SINGAPORE - Every 40 seconds, one person dies by suicide all over the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In Singapore, on average, one person dies by suicide everyday, said the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS).

Next Monday marks World Suicide Prevention Day, which aims to promote worldwide commitment to suicide prevention.

Suicide remains one of the leading causes of deaths, affecting millions of people including family and friends who are forever changed by the grief and trauma of a suicide death.

In Singapore, the national suicide rate has decreased over the last 30 years - peaking in 1990 at 13.1 suicides per 100,000 residents, to 7.85 in 2010.

According to the WHO, the current global suicide rate is estimated at 10.1.

However, 361 Singaporeans and permanent residents still died by suicide last year and many more attempted to take their own lives.

More than 44,000 people called the SOS hotline for emotional support and 3,690 emails were sent in as a cry for support.

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, SOS organises a Suicide Awareness Week every September.

On top of the series of workshops conducted each year, SOS will be running a series of professional skills-based workshops on suicide intervention and postvention skills over the month of September 2012.

All workshops have been fully-subscribed to by participants from government agencies, schools, hospitals, community groups and voluntary welfare organisations.

SOS Singapore is especially concerned about the steady rise in suicide among people aged 65 and above. The elderly make up 9.3 per cent of the population but accounts for 23 per cent of all suicides.

Hence, SOS is partnering with Action Group of Elders (SAGE) Counselling Centre and other community partners to hold a public forum titled 'Ageing with Dignity and Joy - Choose to Live' on Oct 6.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

Helplines

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800 - 221-4444

Family Service Centre: 1800-838-0100

Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019

For the elderly

Seniors Helpline: 1800-555-5555

For Mandarin speakers

Care Corner Mandarin Counselling Centre: 1800-353-5800

For youths and children

Touchline (Touch Youth Service): 1800-377-2252

Tinkle Friend: Children can call 1800- 274-4788 on weekdays

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