Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Dr Chee Soon Juan took to Facebook on Thursday (13 August) to raise concern about the high number of suicide cases among youths in the country, after reading a report regarding this matter.
“I came across this report about our youth committing suicide at an alarming rate: 71 people aged between 20 and 29 killed themselves last year,” he said.
He added, “With children of my own who are in this age group, I can’t imagine the pain families go through when these young people take their own lives.”
According to the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), a non-profit suicide prevention organisation, it said that the leading cause of death for youths in the country is still suicide.
It reported that the number of suicide deaths in 2019 is still the highest amongst those aged 20 to 29 years old, compared to other age groups.
The organisation also found that millennials made up about 17 per cent of total calls to their 24-hour hotline and about 37 per cent of their email service.
In Dr Chee’s post, he said that life is “way too precious” to put an end to, although he understands the “mental pains” that these young adults go through before taking the bold decision to end their own life.
“More importantly, the mental pain these youths experienced to the point of suicide is heart-breaking. Life is just way, way too precious to be snuffed out like this especially when the world, with all its exciting wonderment, beckons,” he wrote.
Dr Chee went on to state that while he understands the feeling of “hopelessness and despair” that these youths feel is real, but they should focus on searching for a “brighter and more hopeful day”. He added that building their mental strength is a crucial thing to do, and it is not impossible.
“To my young friends who feel vulnerable, the hopelessness and despair that you feel is real and cannot be talked– and even medicated – away.
“Digging deep to manufacture the will to press on in search of that brighter and more hopeful day is what you must do. I know, mental strength is easily prescribed but hell of a difficult [thing] to achieve and sustain. But here’s the good part, it’s not impossible,” Dr Chee stated.
As to how mental strength can be built, the chief of the alternative party pointed out that it can be done by first “knowing who and what you are, and coming to take pride in that person that you wake up to every morning”.
He added that parents have a “gigantic role” to play as well.
“I don’t know how much I can do to help but that one more listening ear may be all that matters. If you want someone to talk to, let me know. Drop us a note at 📧 𝗯𝗯@𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗱𝗽.𝗼𝗿𝗴. You’re worth more than you think,” he concluded.
In the post, Dr Chee also included the hotline numbers of SOS (1800-221-4444) and Singapore Association for Mental Health (1800-283-7019) so that those going through a low time in life can seek help from these organisations.