Friday, February 28, 2014

Set up one-stop centre for those with suicidal tendencies - Raymond A Fernando's letter to The Straits Times

My letter appears on the Online Section of The Straits Times today, Friday 28th Feb 2014.

ASSOCIATE Professor Chong Siow Ann revealed some factors that push people to take their own lives ("Time to reconsider suicide law"; last Saturday).
People who are struggling with depression or other types of mental illness are prone to suicide because they often cannot bear the isolation and suffering. Those who are highly stressed or suicidal often think there is no way out, and this is compounded when their cries for help go unheeded.
Singapore's suicide rate has gone up by nearly 30 per cent; 467 cases were recorded in 2012 ("Suicide cases rise nearly 30% to hit 20-year high"; July 13, 2013).
Foreign workers who leave behind their families to work here and family members of foreigners, who have difficulty adjusting to life here, are among those who have attempted suicide.
We must help make foreigners feel welcome by organising activities to help them integrate into our society.
Developed countries like Britain have decriminalised suicide so that those who survive will not be prosecuted. Singapore should take this route.
Patients who seek help for their suicidal tendencies need more than medication and counselling.
To this end, I propose that a one-stop centre be set up so people can get the help they may not know even exists. This centre should make it convenient for the person and his family to secure temporary financial assistance, job opportunities and free counselling services.

Raymond Anthony Fernando


No comments: