Samaritans of Singapore, or SOS, has released alarming suicide data from 2020 to last year.
The non-governmental organization said this morning that while it recorded 16.3% fewer suicides, self harm remains the top killer of Singapore’s youth.
“The data shows an overall decrease and is deeply encouraging, a trend we hope will continue. We must, however, not be complacent in our efforts to support individuals in distress, as we continue to see more individuals reaching out for support,” the organization’s chief executive Gasper Tan said in a statement.
Suicides involving the elderly 60 and up also decreased from 154 in 2020 to 112 last year.
However, suicide was still the top cause of death for those 10 to 29. The organization said the age group’s suicide rates increased from 22.3% in 2020 to 29.6% last year among all suicides recorded in the country.
From 2020 to last year, their crisis hotline has seen a 127% increase in calls as well as their text-messaging service from youths, whose “strong cry for help cannot be ignored,” the organization noted.
SOS said it will continue to push its youth-oriented programs to support at-risk individuals.
During the early stages of the pandemic in 2020, the government launched the National Care Hotline, which was spammed with calls during its first two weeks.
But shortly after, mental health advocates and patients fumed after the government deemed the government’s classification of mental health as unessential. Some also complained that the line was busy due to the influx of calls.
If you or someone you know needs help with mental health-related issues, there are several hotline services available.
Samaritans of Singapore (24-hour): 1800-221-4444
National CARE Hotline: 1800-202-6868
Fei Yue’s Online Counselling Service: eC2.sg
Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222
Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre: 6445-0400
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
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