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Suicide in the heartlands

An unidentified man in his fifties seemingly committed suicide by jumping out of his 7th floor flat in Choa Chu Kang this morning.

Neighbours The Online Citizen (TOC) spoke to said that the man who lived with his mother (in her seventies) is unwell, unemployed and has been depressed for some time.

A neighbour who did not want to be identified said that the mother and son seem to live alone.  "It is strange that more than an hour after the suicide, no relatives have come to assist the family", she adds.

Although attempted suicide is an offence punishable with jail under section 309 of the Penal Code, suicide remains one of the top causes of death in Singapore.

In 2006, an Asia-Pacific conference on suicide prevention said that 1700 people killed themselves between the years 2000 and 2004.

What is more alarming is that for every suicide , there are seven unsuccessful attempts.

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Note: We have edited this article following Samaritans of Singapore's (SOS) email to TOC.  SOS emphasises that there are helping organisations for people who may need assistance in times of distress, such as the following:

• 24-hour helpline: 1800-221-4444

• Email: [email protected]

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By Ravi Philemon