Reaching out to those who have hit rock bottom
Difference In YOUth programme addresses mental well-being issues among youth, in conjunction with Suicide Prevention Week
When his childhood friend started wearing long-sleeved clothing to their dance practices, local actor Tosh Zhang grew suspicious.
The 31-year-old, known to some by his stage name Tosh Rock, realised his friend was self-harming when he discovered a "checkered design of cuts" underneath his friend's arm.
During a Facebook live session with founder of artist management company Fly Entertainment Irene Ang, Zhang shared that his friend later tried to commit suicide and was admitted to hospital.
"When I received the news, I rushed down to the ward to see him," he said.
"He found it very hard to tell me (about his struggles), because he was afraid that I would judge him or go and tell his mum."
In hindsight, Zhang regretted saying things that invalidated how his friend was feeling prior to the incident.
"I should've definitely not judged him for being down all the time."
The Facebook live session, hosted on the North East Community Development Council's (North East CDC) Facebook page yesterday afternoon, was part of the Difference In YOUth programme.
The three-day programme, organised by North East CDC and Care Corner Singapore, is held in conjunction with Suicide Prevention Week, which is from Sept 6 to 12.
The programme, which aims to discuss the importance of mental wellness in suicide prevention among the youth, includes a Mobile Legends gaming competition that will take place today.
Speaking to the media at a virtual press conference yesterday morning, Mayor of North East District Desmond Choo said the pandemic has affected the mental well-being of young people greatly, and he hopes to reach out to let them know they are not alone in their struggles.
"We need to recognise this is a subject that isn't easy to address and understand," he said.
"There is a real need to generate greater awareness for people who are facing such challenges, to know where to seek actionable help."
Those interested to participate in the event which is being held on various online platforms can find out more and register at linktr.ee/DIY2020
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Institute of Mental Health helpline: 6389-2222
Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800
Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788