Early detection key in preventing suicides


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 10 Dec 2020

MIRI: Early detection of suicidal tendencies from the behavioural changes of a person in distress can help prevent the actual suicide attempt from taking place, say experts.

A webinar on suicide prevention organised by Curtin University Malaysia campus here heard that there must be greater efforts throughout society to detect these crucial signs of suicidal tendencies.

This is in view of the increasing stress inflicting people from all strata of society, including the very young, participants heard during the webinar hosted by Curtin Malaysia Health, Counselling and Disability Services Department.

More than 80 representatives from different government bodies, educational institutions, community organisations, churches, private sector companies, media groups, parents and youth bodies took part in the video talk held here recently.

Department director Dr Adeline Wong said two university counsellors, Jessica Akang and Dorety Panggil, gave the talks in English and Bahasa Malaysia.

“The talks and discussions touched on recent issues relating to suicide cases and attempts domestically and abroad.

"We discussed the leading causes of suicide, signs of suicidal tendencies, counselling aspects, the dos and don’ts of dealing with those afflicted by suicidal tendencies.

"The overwhelming response from across the state and country shows that these issues on suicide must be dealt with greater urgency in the face of increasing stress nowadays," said Dr Wong in a statement.

Matters relating to suicide cut across age, race, culture, religion or economic status, she added.

Dr Wong’s department offers counselling services not just for students, but also organises talks for organisations and schools outside campus.

These services will spark greater awareness and understanding, and hopefully could lead to intervention before any suicide happens, she said.

Professional help is important even at the early stage of intervention, she added.

Over the past month, there were at least three reported suicide and attempted suicide cases in Sarawak: two in Miri and one in Kuching.

Those in need of help can contact the Befrienders service nearest to them. For a full list of numbers as well as operating hours, go to www.befrienders.org.my/centre-in-malaysia or call 03-7627 2929.

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