SOS email surge in Singapore continues
SINGAPORE, July 24 — More young people who emailed the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) are engaging in self-harming behaviour, the SOS said yesterday.
It has seen a surge in emails to its befriending service in recent years, with 774 people sending 3,690 emails during its last financial year ending March — 46.9 per cent more people compared to the previous financial year.
As in previous years, more young people used this method of communication, with seven in 10 of the clients who disclosed their age below 30.
About 33.5 per cent had relationship problems and 25.3 per cent had feelings of depression and other mental health issues. Last year, the number of suicides for those under 30 was 58, a 22.7 per cent decrease from 2010 when there were 75 suicides.
About half of those below 30 years old who used SOS email befriending service injured themselves deliberately. This involves the deliberate infliction of injury to the self through cutting, biting, hitting and burning amongst others.
Overall, there were 361 suicides — 229 males and 132 females — recorded last year, a 2.3 per cent increase from 2010 when there were 353 suicides (227 males and 126 females).
The increases in suicides in the 65 to 69, and 70 to 74 age groups for both sexes were also of concern.
Female suicides in the 65-69 and 70-74 age groups last year doubled to 14 and 10 respectively as compared to 2010, while there were 15 and 13 male suicides in the 65-69 and 70-74 age groups respectively last year, up from seven and eight in 2010.
The SOS handled 44,053 calls to its suicide hotline in the last financial year, a 7 per cent increase from the previous year.
The suicide prevention agency handled 161 counselling cases and conducted 439 counselling sessions — the highest in the last seven years. — Today