Don't give up on life

SUICIDE is a frightening reality that has become a scary trend in our society.

A media report says that there are an average of two suicides a day in our country.

A medical newsletter reports that suicide would be the country's second biggest cause of death after heart disease in five to 10 years.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over one million people commit suicide every year.

And 5% of people in the world have tried to kill themselves at least once during their lifetime.

In Malaysia, most suicide cases are among people between the ages of 15 and 30, and 50 and 75.

Being unable to cope with the mounting pressure in school and work, and unable to deal with examinations, family issues, financial problems and broken relationships, they take their own lives.

The elderly group, meanwhile, faces problems of loneliness, depression and ageing.

Sometimes families commit suicide together to end their miserable lives.

A few years ago a family of four (parents and two young children) ended their lives by driving their car into a lake and drowning themselves.

The bread-winner of the family had suffered financial loss in the share market and was facing bankruptcy.

Recently in Johor Baru a father was presumed to have killed his two children and wife. Then he hung himself in a murder-suicide.

According to reports the father was burdened with too much responsibilities and financial constraints. He had a sickly wife to look after and a failing business.

The man apparently had no one to turn to and in his depressive state had resorted to murder and suicide.

Suicides are a manifestations of the condition and state of mental health of a person.

A suicidal person loses hope and gives up on life and chooses, in his mind, to terminate his existence.

Some tell-tale signs of a person depressed and has a suicidal tendency are feeling down and hopeless and worthless, feeling weepy or crying for no apparent reason, having difficulty sleeping at night, wanting to sleep during the day, loss of appetite, inability to concentrate, lack of interest in previously enjoyable things, irritable and being indecisive.

People with suicidal tendencies usually tell their close friends and their colleagues of their intentions. Most of the time, these revelations are not taken seriously by the listeners.

A few years ago in Seremban, a Year Six girl after getting her UPSR results told her friends in class that she would end her life because of her poor examination results.

The next day she hung herself from her room ceiling fan.

Two years ago a 12-year-old boy hung himself in his kitchen after a prolonged depression since the death of his father.

In another case in Seremban a young mother told her neighbours that she was fed up with life and that she would one day end her life on the railway tracks behind her house.

The mother and three of her children were mowed down by a locomotive on the railway tracks behind her house in Senawang.

What channels or support groups do potential suicidal victims have that they can call or seek help?

Befrienders is a good support group that is reaching out to people who call them.

"Troubled" people who call support groups such as the Befrienders are those who are well informed of such assistance through the social media.

Counsellors and tutors in primary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities have to be more alert and be a "busybody" to identify and look out for students with psychological and emotional problems.

Every reported case of suicidal tendencies should be investigated promptly and discreetly.

How do we reach out to the vast majority of "troubled" people who are contemplating suicide every other day who are not so well informed?

Print and electronic media should inform the public of support groups that are available for help.

Religious teachers in temples, churches and mosques should be approachable and open to their followers voicing their feelings and thoughts.

Religious authorities should conduct seminars and talks on the value of life and the significance of celebrating it.

People should come forward and seek treatment for their loved ones, neighbours, colleagues and friends who talk of suicides and have suicidal tendencies.
Psychiatric help should be rendered to those suffering from suicidal tendencies.

No matter the problems or difficulties that loom ahead, if you can eat and enjoy the sunlight and mix good cheer with friends today, enjoy it and thank God for it.

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new and blissful ending.

Take charge of your life and learn to celebrate and valuelife. Get out of the depressive state and look at the positive side.

Talk it out with family and friends and never lose hope.

And remember, timeheals everything in life, be patient and everything will fall into place. Do not give up on life!

Samuel Yesuiah