Covid 19 shed light on different suicide risk factors
By C. Kermit, May 2021
Covid 19 has shed light on the impact of different suicide risk factors, and how these risk factors can destroy lives if left unattended by professionals. While it is unclear on how many suicide cases are linked to effect of Covid 19, there has been a spike in the number of people calling the crisis hotlines (https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/spike-in-calls-to-sos-last-year-as-more-in-distress-amid-pandemic-0). Ironically, from the past LIFE trainings conducted by Caring for Life, the community still has some misconceptions about suicide.
Having misconceptions about suicide can be dangerous. Not only does it stop us from recognizing signs of suicide ideation, we may also give incorrect (or even irresponsible) advice as well. Last of all, it might discourage the person from opening up and talking about their thoughts and ideations.
Samaritans of Singapore has written a piece of article, addressing briefly on 10 myths and facts about suicide (https://www.sos.org.sg/blog/10-myths-and-facts-about-suicide) to address some misunderstandings one may have.
I would like to highlight that suicide ideation affects all people and is more prevalent than you’d like to believe. Financial difficulties, relationship issues and other life stressors such as death of a loved one, a devastating or debilitating illness, trauma, and other recent or impending crisis are some of suicide risk factors.
For other comic: https://caringforlifesg.org/comic/
As a society, we should not be afraid to speak up about suicide, or seek out treatment for an individual (or for yourself) who is in need. Suicide hotlines are effective. But it is not enough to depend only on it. Reaching out to a mental health professional is also an important step to seek help. Yet, while such interventions should involve the work of the professionals, sometimes, all that is needed is the support of family and friends.
The best thing is to have an open conversation with your loved one who is struggling with some issues, in a calm and empathetic manner and work together with the mental health professional. If you are the one who is struggling, go talk with someone, don’t bottle it up. Reach out, someone is there, to listen, to assist.
We can all be that first line of defense, to walk with our loved ones whilst they are going through a rough patch. We all can play a part in this suicide prevention landscape.
About the writer
Kermit knows that sometimes life may not be as kind as we hope. C. Kermit had a close brush with suicide when it had vivid image of how it may attempt suicide. Thankfully, many people supported C. Kermit then, including professionals. Today, C. Kermit continues to overcome the suicidal ideation that still comes occasionally, and wants to share its thoughts towards this topic.