Youth suicides: How to help them cope with stress?

Teenage years. We all know that they can be pretty damn tough. Balancing friends, girl/boyfriends, schoolwork, family expectations, most of us make it through eventually, after lots of sweat, blood, tears.

But not everyone does. Teenage suicides in Singapore last year hit a record high in recent years. 27 cases involved people between the age of 10 – 19. This is TWICE as many as the previous year. The 2016 figures aren’t out yet, but we are frankly not too hopeful.

After the recent tragic incident of the Pri 5 student who killed himself after failing his mid-year exams, many have suggested how to prevent such incidents in future – getting parents and schools to focus less on grades, managing students’ expectations, and proactive detection of warning signs.

We at Singapotato think this is great. But everyone can play a part, not just the parents, teachers or caregivers.

Most young people spend a lot of time with their friends, so if you notice that your friend or classmate is looking more stressed than usual or behaving oddly, show some care, talk to them. You never know if you could be saving someone’s life. 

To the young people out there, you’re not alone! If you feel stressed out, need help, or just need a listening ear, talk to your friends. There are also many other hotlines you can call:

  • Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800-221 4444

  • Tinkle Friend (Singapore Children’s Society): 1800-2744 788, or online chat

  • eCounselling Centre (eC2): https://www.ec2.sg/, https://www.egen.sg/, or 6787 1125

  • TOUCHLINE Touch Youth Service: 1800-377-2252

Remember, your teenage years are only a small part of your life. It’s tough, but hang in there. There is so much more out there to experience, learn and enjoy as an adult. So if you need help, ask for it. And if you see those around you in need, lend them a helping hand!

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