Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Letter to The New Paper: Others could have stepped in to help couple

My letter to the press is published today in The New Paper, Wed 1st Feb 2012, page 14.

I refer to the report, “Wife denies flirting, then slashes hubby” (The New Paper, Jan17).

Whilst many people are welcoming the Year of the Dragon and joining in the Chinese New Year celebrations, this family is grieving and mourning the loss of a loved one who died in a most tragic manner.

Patients who are suffering from depression and other types of mental problems need strong emotional support and medication to help them in their recovery. 

It is abundantly clear to me that the late Madam Boon Soon Leng who suffered from depression was crying out for help and for attention.

The number of suicides has risen, as more people who are unable to cope with the stresses of life will develop mental illness. 

The divorce rates have also gone up.

Police called

A neighbour living on the same floor as Madam Boon and her injured husband Mr Ng Tiong Lam, was quoted as saying that the police had been called almost 20 times to break up the fights between the couple. 

Why didn’t the police refer their marital problems and gambling addiction on the part of Mr Ng to the Ministry of Community Development, Youths & Sports who could have helped them resolve their problems?

Perhaps a life could have been saved if somebody just cared to get them help. But no one did!

I am told that in some western countries, suicide squads are on standby and will come down on-site to save and rescue anyone contemplating suicide.

Everyone needs to play their part in keeping our suicide rate down and helping people cope with the onslaught of mental illness. 

Government agencies must learn the value of teamwork- both within their respective ministries and across the civil service.

It’s also high time that the government sets up a task force to address mental health issues such as suicide, divorces and anger management, which are destroying lives and families.


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