RISE IN SUICIDAL FEELINGS AMONG YOUTH
Suicide second leading cause of death among youth aged 15 to 29, writes
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