By Nur Afiqah Bte Mohd Azman
Suicide is a pressing issue in today’s globalised world. It has been happening for a very long time. I do not wish to speak about statistics in my entry. I wish to give some wisdom to how we can overcome the suicide rates in Singapore. I had thoughts of suicide for a period of 2 years since 2019. It was not easy to deal with. Whenever I feel low or depressed, I would hide myself beneath my blanket as I was so afraid if I were to commit suicide in real time. Just this year, due to COVID-19 that hit us, i was struck with anxiety that affected my confidence and decision-making. I was suicidal once again as I kept thinking about certain issues in my mind. I felt like no one understand me. No one believe me. I seemed so confused and felt extremely depressed.
I feel that there are a lot of people out there who are having suicidal thoughts. People might think that they are being selfish and wasting their time. But I believe with proactive care and concern for our friends and family, we can prevent suicide from happening within our social space. I know it is hard to deal with someone with suicidal thoughts because they are suffering from emotional pain that has been going for so long. What we can do is to be a better friend, a better family member for our loved ones by being present and being by their side. The best is to have empathy for them and practise reflective listening. We have to support them by not scolding them or giving negative comments about how they are wasting their time thinking about suicide.
I am writing to everyone reading this and I am convinced that suicide is a pressing issue that we need to pay attention to. This is because each and everyone of us is precious to the universe and deserve to be alive. My heart hurts when I hear people passed away from suicide.
Suicide can also be caused by the pressure around them. When you give too much advice and they cannot seem to take on the advice. Please refrain from giving advice as much as possible. Healing takes time for every individual. They may take 20 or 30 years to heal and recover. Let’s not compare. Being alive is better than being dead and losing the opportunity for personal self-growth. Living life is a gift for every single one of you.
Let me urge all of you to check in with your friends and family as frequent as possible and do not take things lightly because it is real. As a mental health advocate, I speak on behalf of those who are hit by mental health challenges. I am here to be the voice for the voiceless. Please take care of our loved ones and lend a listening ear and let them to release their pent-up emotions.
I believe that if all of us do this together, the suicide rates can drop and be non-existent if we are united as a community.