This is a surprise to me.....
SINGAPORE : More Singaporeans die committing suicide than from traffic accidents.
This is according to statistics revealed at the 2nd Asia Pacific Suicide Prevention Conference which bring together experts from around the region.
An average of one Singaporean dies from committing suicide every day.
Even then, Singapore's suicide rates are one of the lowest in Asia.
But what is getting authorities worried is a rising trend of youths committing suicide.
Suicide rates among the elderly, on the other hand, have dropped significantly.
Dr Chia Boon Hock, Psychologist and Suicide Researcher, said: "The older people now are much better off. They have their HDB flats, CPF, they are married, not single, previously you had a old cohort where the elderly are single immigrants. For young suicide.. the level is steady, it is high."
Suicide is the second main cause of death among girls under 20 and the third among boys of that age.
Studies show that women are more likely to attempt suicide then men and in Singapore, most of the female teenagers who kill themselves do so because of relationship problems as well as study stress.
At the same time, psychologists also say that those who are single and unemployed are more likely to attempt suicide.
Between the year 2000 and 2004, the number of unemployed males killing themselves were 17 times higher than their employed counterparts.
The Health Ministry says what is important is that front-line staff like family doctors know how to identify signs that someone has suicidal tendencies.
Dr Alex Su, Head of Emergency Services at the Institute of Mental Health, said: "In Singapore, more than 50 percent of the people, if they were to end their lives, they would have left some form of message before that but unfortunately these messages were being ignored or not taken seriously.
"They may have made some arrangements to give away things that they had, or made some arrangements, as in after their death who will get what things, sometimes they may even release their pets.
"More importantly, they will leave some kind of suicide notes and these are very important things to note and should be taken seriously."
The Institute of Mental Health is currently running courses for family doctors to help them manage mental and suicidal conditions.
But psychologists say what is needed is a national suicide prevention strategy.
Dr Su said: "Depression is very treatable, you do not have to wait until depression evolves into a severe state, and all things around you have fallen apart, leading up to suicide.
Singapore has also launched a new website offering information and support from qualified professions for people who are depressed.
DepNet is a way for people to discreetly seek help and advice for their problems. - CNA/de
Wow! More young people dying because they commit suicide than accidents? That's quite sad don't you think?