RISE IN SUI­CI­DAL FEEL­INGS AMONG YOUTH

Sui­cide sec­ond lead­ing cause of death among youth aged 15 to 29, writes

New Straits Times - - News -

ON av­er­age, 20 of the 68 peo­ple who call Be­frien­ders Kuala Lumpur daily for help have sui­ci­dal thoughts. The num­ber of peo­ple cry­ing out for help has in­creased by 16 per cent, from 21,256 in 2015 to 24,821 last year.

Be­frien­der’s KL pub­lic­ity di­rec­tor Ardy Ayadali said 7,446 who called last year had sui­ci­dal in­ten­tions, com­pared with 5,739 in 2015.

“Although sui­cide is more com­mon among older peo­ple in most parts of the world, re­search shows that sui­cide is the sec­ond lead­ing cause of death for youth be­tween the ages of 15 and 29 in Malaysia,” he said.

Ardy said 21 per cent of call­ers were aged 21 to 30; 15 per cent were be­low 20; 13 per cent were be­tween 31 and 40; and 36 per cent were of un­known ages.

“The num­bers are higher when it comes to email, as the younger gen­er­a­tion prefers to write.”

Be­frien­ders re­ceived 3,443 emails from peo­ple reach­ing out for help last year, com­pared with 2,685 emails in 2015 and 2,283 in 2014.

Eigh­teen per cent of the emails were from youth un­der 19, 27 per cent were from the 20 to 29 age group and five per cent were from the 30 to 39 age group.

The re­main­ing 46 per cent of emails did not men­tion the senders’ ages.

“Most of the time, all they want is to end the emo­tional pain that they are feel­ing. And when noth­ing else works, sui­cide comes to mind.”

Ardy said the most com­mon trig­ger for sui­cide among the call­ers was de­pres­sion.

“An­other trig­ger is a bro­ken re­la­tion­ship, although with sup­port and help, they tend to feel bet­ter af­ter a con­sid­er­able pe­riod of time.

“It also de­pends on the per­son’s cop­ing mech­a­nisms and their sup­port sys­tem. An­other alarm­ing trend we no­tice is self-harm, es­pe­cially among teens.

“There is no clear re­la­tion­ship be­tween self-harm and sui­cide, but the worry is the pain that causes them to self-harm may also drive them to sui­cide.

Univer­siti Ke­bangsaan Malaysia

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