Singapore witnessed a distressing increase in the number of suicides in 2022, reaching a staggering total of 476 cases, according to a report by Samaritans of Singapore (SOS).
Warning: The following article discusses sensitive topics, including suicide and mental health. Reader discretion is advised.
If you or someone you know is in need of immediate help, please call the Samaritans of Singapore Hotline at 1767, the Institute of Mental Health’s Helpline at 6389 2222, or the Singapore Association for Mental Health Helpline at 1800 283 7019. In case of an immediate risk, please contact 24-hour emergency medical services. Additionally, you can refer to a list of international helplines for further assistance.
- 25.9% Surge: Singapore witnessed a 25.9% increase in suicides, with a total of 476 cases reported in 2022, compared to 378 in 2021.
- Youth at Risk: Suicide remained the leading cause of death among youths aged 10-29, accounting for 38.7% of all deaths within this age group.
- Elderly Concern: Individuals aged 70 to 79 experienced a significant 60.0% increase in suicide deaths, rising from 30 to 48 cases.
- Increased Demand for Support: Samaritans of Singapore Limited (SOS) observed a 27.0% rise in the use of its services, including the 24-hour Hotline and CareText.
The figure reflects a worrisome rise of 25.9% compared to the previous year, marking the highest recorded suicide deaths since 2000. The surge was particularly notable among youths and the elderly, highlighting the urgent need for increased mental health support and awareness in the country.
According to the report, it revealed that suicide remained the leading cause of death for individuals aged 10 to 29 for the fourth consecutive year. Shockingly, suicides in this age group constituted 38.7% of all deaths, underscoring the critical importance of addressing mental health challenges faced by young Singaporeans. The data further revealed an 11.6% increase in suicide deaths among youths, rising from 112 cases in 2021 to 125 cases in 2022.
Equally concerning was the significant rise in suicide deaths among individuals aged 70 to 79, which witnessed a drastic 60.0% increase compared to the previous year. The number of suicides in this age group rose from 30 to 48, indicating a growing mental health crisis among the elderly population.
Dr. Jared Ng, Senior Consultant and Medical Director at Connections MindHealth, expressed deep sorrow upon witnessing the unprecedented rise in suicide numbers in Singapore.
“Seeing the unprecedented rise in suicide numbers in Singapore is profoundly heartbreaking. This increase paints a picture of the unseen mental distress permeating our society, especially amongst our youths and the elderly. It is crucial that we remain vigilant to the pressing issues that continue to heavily impact mental health, such as social isolation and loneliness. The time is now, to double our efforts in the realm of early detection and to actively encourage a culture of seeking help and watching out for one another”, said Dr Jared Ng in SOS report.
Samaritans of Singapore Limited (SOS) also reported a significant increase in the use of its services in 2022, with a 27.0% rise compared to the previous year. SOS provides vital support through its 24-hour Hotline and CareText services, ensuring that individuals in crisis have access to immediate assistance.
Mr. Gasper Tan, the Chief Executive Officer of SOS, acknowledged the complexity of suicide as an issue influenced by various factors such as mental health challenges, social pressures, and economic uncertainties.
“While suicide is a complex issue influenced by various factors, including mental health challenges, social pressures, and economic uncertainties, our collective efforts to address these underlying causes must take priority. We recognise the urgency of the situation, and are committed to continue taking proactive steps to address the rising suicide numbers and provide support to those in need.”
SOS has been actively working to combat the rising suicide numbers by implementing several initiatives and programs. These include ‘Light in the Dark,’ a suicide attempters support group, and ‘Be A Samaritan,’ a first-responder community program. The organization has also collaborated with community partners to expand the safety net, raise awareness, reduce stigma, and encourage help-seeking behaviors.
Dr. Ong Say How, Senior Consultant and Chief of the Department of Developmental Psychiatry at the Institute of Mental Health, called for a united effort among parents, educators, healthcare professionals, and community workers to prevent such tragedies.
“What we need to do as parents, educators, healthcare professionals and community workers, is to continue to join hands to form a safety net to prevent such tragedies. From efforts to improving mental health literacy such as knowing the warning signs of distress and importance of self-care to teaching peer support skills, we must leave no stone unturned. Beyond the knowledge, we should also guide youths on when and where to seek help”, Dr Ong Say How added.
Mr. Tan reiterated that suicide is preventable and emphasized SOS’s dedication to building an ecosystem of care where every individual feels valued, supported, and empowered to seek help when needed. SOS remains committed to its mission of being an available lifeline to anyone in crisis, offering emotional support and treating all information shared with them as confidential.
Samaritans of Singapore Limited (SOS) is a secular, non-profit suicide prevention center that focuses on prevention, intervention, and postvention, providing support for loved ones and friends affected by suicide. Since its establishment in 1969, SOS has become a professionally run and managed organization, prioritizing the holistic approach to suicide-related topics and offering emotional support to individuals in crisis.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to a helpline in your country or contact a mental health professional.
24-hour Hotline (1-767)
24-hour CareText (WhatsApp 9151 1767)
Read Trending News
- NTU Undergraduate Accused of Cannabis Trafficking on Campus, Faces Multiple Drug Charges
- Drum Instructor Sentenced to Jail and Caning for Molesting Underage Student
- Serial Shop Thief Sentenced to Eight Months’ Jail
- Heartbreaking : Three Week Old Infant & Mother Found Dead at The Foot Of HDB Block In Ghim Moh
- Three Teenagers Arrested For Suspected Theft of Lorry From Carpark