In 2003, there were 346 suicides deaths. In 2001, there were more then 300 suicides deaths including 5 children below 15 years old and 37 young persons between the age of 15 to 25. Suicide is one of the ten leading causes of death in Singapore. Suicide is a preventable public health problem. Emotional and mental health problems must become our priority concern to improve the quality of life to reduce the number of suicides.
Children have no one to talk to at home, there is a serious communication problem. When a young person faces problems with their parent, or their boyfriends or girlfriends it becomes a factors that push them over the edge. Singapore: Student Stress & Suicides "In April 2002, the Straits Times reported, "Last year, about 14,000 children were seen by psychiatrists at the Institute of Mental Health, of which 2,233 were new cases.... these figures have stayed relatively consistent over the last five years."
The parents are working hard, longer hours with no minimum wage nor job security. They continue working longer hours, often 12 hours work to make ends meet. They have no time for the family. They are coping with lots of stress and responsibilities, workplace and income problems, raising children, making financial commitments and caring for aged parents. In the 25 to 55 years old group suicide is also high [173 deaths in 2001].
Is something wrong with our system? Are our students also stressed out by the workload at school? Something seems to be wrong with our society if young persons continue to suicide in our global city. Emotional and mental health problems must become our priority concern to improve the quality of life to reduce the number of suicides.
How could the parents stop long hours of work without minimum wage to provide adequately for the family?
How could they relate to their children when they have to work long hours, 12 hours jobs?
How could they stay in stable mental health when there is no support to provide for when they become jobless?
How could they stop worrying about their childrens future?
In 2003, there were 346 suicides deaths that is about one person successfully taking their own life every day. About 4000 may have tried to kill themselves but there are no offical numbers available for attempted suicides.
2003: When children commit suicide ".... I heard on television a Primary Six boy had jumped to his death that morning. ... Another suicide which happened in 2000. A 16-year-old student fell to his death after a quarrel at home. Apparently, he had rushed out of the flat into the corridor and plunged to his death. It was the June holidays then. The Chinese daily Lian He Zao Bao's report on the boy's suicide. In his suicide note with instructions for paper offerings, among which are a large house, a car with a driver, some servants, food snacks and lots of money, to be burnt for him. His concluding last words: "...promise me not to cry except at my funeral or else hee...hee... and be happy for it's my last request and remember ok?"
Can we do more to prevent suicides?
Protective factors include high self-esteem and social "connectedness", especially with family and friends, having social support, being in a stable relationship and religious or spiritual commitment. In addition, establishing suicide prevention centers and school-based prevention programmes are all promising strategies according to WHO.
More 450 million people worldwide are affected by mental, neurological or behavioural problems at any time. World Suicide Prevention Day focuses global attention to the estimated one million lives lost each year to suicide. This year, organizers are stressing the fact that the prevention of suicide is everybody's business, not just the responsibility of experts. The Organizers urge communities, individuals, professionals and volunteers to take part in activities that raise awareness of this public health problem and to launch new suicide preventive initiatives and methods.
Following the successful launch last year - World Suicide Prevention Day, International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) announced 10th September 2005, to be the third World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). This year the IASP and WHO invite the public, communities, societies, individuals, professionals and volunteers to conduct activities on this day to promote and demonstrate the joint responsibility to save lives that would otherwise be lost to suicide. The WSPD aims at changing public attitudes and increase awareness of suicide as a major public health problem that's largely preventable. Despite the complexity and severity of the problem, suicide prevention cannot be seen as the responsibility of governments and concerned organizations alone; rather, preventing suicide is every one's business.
Suicide is one of the world largest public health problems, accounting for almost half of all violent deaths every year, as well as economic costs in the billions of dollars. It profoundly affects individuals, families, workplaces, neighborhoods and societies.
According to WHO annual estimates approximately one million people die from suicide and 10 to 20 times more people attempt to suicide worldwide. This represents one death every 40 seconds and one attempt every 3 seconds, on average. Furthermore WHO estimates suggest fatalities could rise to 1.5 million by 2020.
Suicide represents 1.4% of the Global Burden of Disease, but the losses extend much further. In the Western Pacific Region they account for 2.5% of all economic losses due to diseases. In most European countries, the number of suicides is larger than the annual traffic fatalities. More lives are lost to suicide than in all wars and homicides. There are three times more suicides each year than enormous and catastrophic loss of human lives in the tragic Tsunami disaster in South East Asia in December 2004. More lives are lost to suicide every day than the loss of lives in the terrorist attack on New York, September 11.2001. This indicates that more people are dying from suicide than in all the several armed conflicts around the world and more than those dying from traffic accidents.
Some WHO Member States have been reporting on suicide cases since 1950, whereas other countries started sending this information later on. A WHO report on 2002 revealed that the global rates of suicide tend to increase with age to be more among males than females, but there has recently been an alarming increase in suicidal behaviors amongst young people aged 15-25 years, worldwide. An opposite change in the age distribution of suicide cases occurred between 1950 and 2000. On 1950 eleven countries reported that 40% of suicide cases were among age group (5-44) years, while 60% of them were among people of 45 years and more. On 2000 contrary to that forty-seven countries reported 55% of suicide cases among (5-44) age group, while 45% of them were among people of 45 years and more.
Suicidal behavior has a large number of complex underlying causes, including poverty, unemployment, loss of loved ones, arguments, breakdown in relationships and legal and work-related problems. A family history of suicide, as well as alcohol and drug abuse, childhood abuse, social isolation and some mental disorders including depression and schizophrenia, also play central role in a large number of suicides. Physical illness and disabling pain can also increase suicide risks.
" It is important to realize that suicide is preventable, and that having access to the means of suicide is both an important risk factor and determinant of suicide." Said professor Lars Mehlum, President of IASP and Professor at University of Oslo.
Fortunately, suicide is not an inevitable burden that must be accepted by society. There are many ways in which suicide can be prevented. Adopting policies addressing suicide by governments is crucial. There is an urgent great need for intensified, effective, coordinated and comprehensive suicide preventive initiatives throughout the world to reduce the enormous number of completed suicides, suicide attempts and problems related to suicide and self-destructive behaviors. Effective suicide prevention calls for an innovative, comprehensive multi-sectorial approach, including health and non-health sectors, education, labour, police, justice, religion, law, politics and the media. The role of experts is certainly needed in addressing this public health problem (medical personnel and mental health workers); these professionals play a crucial role in risk assessment, emergency services and providing short-and long-term treatments. They are also important in the development of knowledge base through research and evaluation of suicide preventive measures. However, suicide cannot be effectively prevented through the efforts of these experts alone. Suicide prevention is every body's business. All community members should be part of the solution. Every one can do something to help reduce the number of people who try to solve their problems with suicidal behaviors. Sharing responsibility is very important.
Protective factors include high self-esteem and social "connectedness", especially with family and friends, having social support, being in a stable relationship and religious or spiritual commitment. Early identification and appropriate treatment of mental disorders is an important preventive strategy. There is also evidence that educating primary health care personnel in the identification and treatment of people with mood disorders may result in a reduction of suicide amongst those at risk. In addition, establishing suicide prevention centers and school-based prevention programmes are all promising strategies.
WHO has produced, with the assistance of experts from around the world, a series of guidelines for different audiences that have a critical role to suicide prevention, including health workers, teachers, prison officers, media professionals and survivors of suicide. These resources are now available in many languages on websites. The media can also play a major role in reducing stigma and discrimination associated with suicidal behaviors and mental disorders. The above-mentioned efforts are needed and any other efforts to put suicide prevention on the local public agenda. Every individual must initiate by the least contribution, not all suicide prevention activities cost money; to lend a helping hand, to be a good friend or colleague does not necessarily imply financial costs.
Sources and Relevant Links:
Think Centre Singapore: Student Stress & Suicides
SMA Too Young to Die- An Asian Perspective on Youth Suicide The source of Dr Chia's material is obtained through a 6-year study of coroner's case files, a psychological post-mortem on 54 young suicides through interviewing family members, 86 suicide letters and 25 suicides among his 1275 patients over the years.
When children commit suicide
" .... I heard on television a Primary Six boy had jumped to his death that morning.... another suicide which happened in 2000. A 16-year-old student fell to his death after a quarrel at home. Apparently, he had rushed out of the flat into the corridor and plunged to his death. It was the June holidays then. The Chinese daily Lian He Zao Bao's report on the boy's suicide. In his suicide note with instructions for paper offerings, among which are a large house, a car with a driver, some servants, food snacks and lots of money, to be burnt for him. His concluding last words: "...promise me not to cry except at my funeral or else hee...hee... and be happy for it's my last request and remember ok?"
Singpore-Windows Suicide bids by young females up 
Northeast.org IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!
Yemen Times Suicide, a Preventable Public Health Problem