There were a total of 397 reported suicides in Singapore in 2018, a 10 percent increase from the 361 cases the year before, according to a report of the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) (Source: Pixabay)
 
Singapore (VNA) – There were a total of 397 reported suicides in Singapore in 2018, a 10 percent increase from the 361 cases the year before, according to a report of the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS).

Notably, 94 cases were of people between 10 and 29 years old. Meanwhile, suicide of male teenagers peaked at its highest since 1991 with 19 deaths in 2018, rising nearly three times from seven deaths in 2017.

Experts said academic stress, peer pressure and uncertainties about their future are possible causes for suicidal thoughts in teens, and mental health conditions like anxiety and depression may intensify the problem.

Young people lacking problem-solving and self-help skills also think of negative choices, including taking their lives.

The SOS noted that young Singaporean people are now more willing to reach out for help. In 2018, among those who wrote to the SOS for emotional support, more than 78 percent were between 10 and 29 years old.  

But more young people reaching out for professional help could mean they still feel uncomfortable talking about it with their loved ones, experts warned.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) of Singapore are very concerned about the spike in the number of youth suicides this year.

The MSF said it pays special attention to vulnerable youths, such as those who have been abused or ill-treated, and screens them to detect mental health concerns and self-harm risks.

MSF psychologists also work closely with case managers and caregivers to develop case plans and interventions that take into account the particular circumstances of the individual.

Schools also encourage students to look out for and support one another, as well as point peers in distress to seek help from trusted adults. Most schools have rolled out peer support programmes, the MOE said.

The objective is to build psychological resilience in youths, raise awareness on mental health issues, identify and support those at risk of suicide, and intervene in crisis situations where urgent help is needed.-VNA