Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Suicides are rampant in tiny Singapore
Every day there are 7 attempted suicides and 1 of them is successful. This gory truth is often hidden by the Pap govt to paint a beautiful picture of a caring govt. The reality is the govt policies suck like shits. And the result is we have the highest suicide rate in the world! Read on...
Posted by theonlinecitizen
Leong Sze Hian / Columnist
In a written reply in Parliament on 26 August, by the Minister of Education, Dr Ng Eng Hen, to a question by MP Cynthia Phua, the incidence of suicide among youths (rate of youth suicide per 100,000), was 4.9 in 2006 and 6.7 in 2007. This is an increase of 37 per cent. (link)
The number (age between 10 and 24) who committed suicide increased by 36 per cent from 36 in 2006 to 49 in 2007.
According to media reports, 374 people killed themselves last year, but for every death, there were seven failed bids ; 706 were arrested for attempted suicide, about half of the estimated 10,400 walk-in patient cases at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) have thought about dying, about 4,380 who called the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) were high-risk suicide cases, and 87 suicides were aged 65 and above – an increase of 26 per cent over the previous year (“Special report : suicide attempts – when all hopes is lost”, ST, Aug 10).
The incidence of elderly suicide is double that of the general population, having crept above 20 per 100,000 people over 65 years old from a low of 17.3 in 2002 (“Depressed and alone : The old need help”, ST, Aug 11).
Looking at the above statistics, does it mean that about 280 per 100,000 residents (10,000 divided by 3.6 million resident population) contemplate suicide in a year ?
How many are youths and what are the causes?
I think one of the reasons why suicides are un-reported, is because family members may be reluctant to do so as the suicide attemptors may be arrested, and may also be charged in court and sent to jail, as suicide is a crime under Section 309 the Penal Code.
Are there any other countries in the world that make suicide a crime ?
I would like to suggest that Section 309 be reviewed, as it may be the cause of under-reporting of the suicidal statistics – which may lead to under-treatment and help for these Singaporeans.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the suicide rate per 100,000 was 6.8 for the United Kingdom, and 7.9 for Thailand. Singapore’s rate was 10.3.
To what extent, has our education system, employment and financial problems, contributed to the above suicide statistics ? For youths, perhaps the Ministry of Education could provide statistics on successful suicides and attempted suicides.
May 19, 2010
There is something terribly wrong with this country. I don’t think there can be any doubt to those aware. Yesterday, we had two suicide attempts reported. One successful, the other not, but passed off as an accident. The first was a man in his fifties, fueled possibly by desperation and the uncertainty of his family’s future.
He launched himself out of his flat on the 7th floor. The second, reported as being an accident by the mainstream media, yet witnessed as a suicide attempt, involved a man in his thirties and the MRT tracks, so often the deathbed of many in recent years. He failed on this occasion. Now, treat these two individuals with indifference and contempt if you wish. I’ve found that we very rarely sympathize with people anymore.
It doesn’t take much mental effort to brush of suicides as an attempt to escape the harsh realities of life, or life in Singapore, especially if the people involved are middle-aged men. But I dare you to enter the mind of a child, driven to the brink of ending his own life.
Around 1 am last night, I received a tip-off regarding yet another failed suicide attempt. An 8 year old boy, had thrown his bag and a stuffed bear down four stories, and was ready to follow suit. Fortunately, he was spotted by a female resident, who then managed to stall him long enough for other residents to break into the flat and grab him.
According to the information I received, when the boy was asked why he wanted to jump, he said that his mother had done the same. Further probing revealed that his mother had committed suicide the year before, and he was being raised by his father, who was at work at the time. The boy was taken by the police, supposedly to his father’s workplace. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.
What demons could’ve lured this young lad, whom I understand from my source to be a bright and sensible individual, towards the traps of death? According to the boy, his father had earlier called him “useless” for failing an exam. While I am bewildered by the lack of sensitivity, I suspect there may be a deeper issue than that. When faced with the reality of losing someone close to us, we undergo the 5 stages of grief.
However, the progression of those stages vary from person to person. Some of us race down to Acceptance. Others brisk walk, but find that they have to turn back. And then, there are some who dwindle at Denial, who feel safe with Denial, who cling on to Denial for fear of the other stages and the horrors they will bring.
Yet, before we jump at the father’s throat, keep in mind that as much pain as a child losing his mother has to go through, a man losing his wife feels no less. Both individuals have had to go through trauma that, quite frankly, is premature. The boy will receive professional help, according to the police.
I wonder though, if they will offer the same help to the boy’s father, or if a charge of negligence is all he will receive.