THE media should avoid sensationalising news on suicide as they could possibly lead to other cases.
Penang welfare, caring society and environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said those reporting on such cases should only state the facts to avoid triggering more of such incidents.
“Everyone has some form of mental illness but the degree of severity is different.
“The media should report on suicide based on facts but not go into details.
“We notice that whenever a suicide case is reported, there is a tendency for similar cases to occur within a short period, ” he said during a press conference in Komtar.
Phee, however, declined to reveal the statistics of such cases.
To reach out to those in need of support, Befrienders Penang is organising a public forum in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day at Auditorium A in Komtar on Sept 15.
Its organising chairman Saras Pillay said the event aimed to increase public awareness of mental illness and eliminate the stigma associated with it.
“A recent study showed that suicide tendency was highest among those between 16 and 24 years.
“Most of them were suffering from relationship and family crises as well as pressure from peers and work.
“The upcoming forum will feature talks by experts in the field to share their experiences on preventing suicide, ” she said.
Admission is free.
At the press conference, Pertubuhan Wanita Mutiara handed over a cheque for RM3,000 to Befrienders Penang in support of the event.