News

Don't despair, share

When faced with negative life events like a failed business venture, one may become overwhelmed with despair and think about suicide.

But it is important to know that people can and do recover from a crisis, said Ms Christine Wong, the executive director of the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), a suicide prevention group.

"Sometimes, sharing our problem can help us see things more clearly and cope better during difficult times.

"People around us can provide the support and help we need during a crisis," she emphasised.

Her advice for those thinking about suicide: Give yourself some time and do not to hesitate to ask for help.

SOS does not have any numbers for foreigners seeking help because they can choose to remain anonymous. But Ms Wong said there are "quite a number".

COPING DIFFICULTIES

Some are homesick, or have difficulty coping in a new environment.

"They may not necessarily be depressed, but may face intense distress and be overwhelmed during that time of crisis, which sometimes leads to suicidal thoughts," said Ms Wong.

When someone talks about dying, often subtly, it should raise alarm bells.

"These verbal signs can be difficult to catch at times, and can be mistaken for jokes or random thoughts.

"We recommend that people be alert when they hear subtle indications of suicidal thoughts, especially when they notice other warning signs as well, for instance, out-of-character behaviour," she said.

Some other signs include pre-suicide planning, like taking care of one's affairs and checking out methods of dying.

Ms Wong said these people may also experience deep anxiety and agitation, intense feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, and have dramatic changes in mood.