Allocate more resources to preventing suicides
All educators and counsellors in schools should attend mental health first aid training. School leaders need to be more open to invite experts to organise assembly talks on youth suicide prevention for students and parents. As Asians, we often shy away from taboo topics such as suicide. We need to shape our society such that we are open to ask if someone is suicidal or has thoughts of committing suicide. In this way, we help the other party to understand that someone acknowledges their intentions and is watching their well-being.
The number of youth suicides will continue to rise if we do not take the issue seriously and build a national mental wellness ecosystem which equips and trains our parents, educators and youth workers. More importantly, there is a need to equip our young with a simple Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) coping mechanism – asking the right questions to determine signs of suicide intentions, persuading oneself or others to live positively, and referring at-risk people to professional help. We need to take responsibility and be committed to be gatekeepers of our own lives and the lives of our loved ones.
Delane Lim Zi Xuan