As October 10 is World Mental Health Day, there’s no better time to talk about depression, a topic that might seem taboo or hard to breach. According to the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), Singapore’s only suicide prevention centre, teen suicide as a result of depression is at a 15-year high, despite the overall rate of suicides here falling.
In 2015, there were 409 reported suicides, 6 fewer than the year before. However, the Straits Times reported over two youths between 10 to 19 years old killed themselves each month, with a total of 27 deaths – two times as many as in 2014.
One child lost is one child too many, and some of the main reasons for this spike in teen suicides include academic-related stress, relationship problems at home and in school (including bullying) and existing mental health issues. A poor support network or lack of outlets for youngsters to express themselves and share their innermost feelings could also make them bottle their feelings up instead, contributing to stress and depression.
Just this year, an 11-year-old boy jumped off a block of flats at Fernvale Link, while two Junior College (JC) students committed suicide in August within days of each other. It’s essential that parents, siblings and relatives know the key warning signs of depression, and so hopefully prevent a tragedy from happening.
Where To Get Help
- Tinkle Friend (Singapore Children’s Society): 1800-2744-788 – for primary school students
- eCounselling Centre (Fei Yue Community Services): www.ec2.sg
- MeToYou Cyber Care (Monfort Care): 9173 1766 – for youths aged 12 to 18
- YouthReach Centre (Singapore Association of Mental Health): 6593 6424
- Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800-221 4444
- Institute of Mental Health, Mobile Crisis: 6389 2222
- Care Corner Counselling Centre: 1800-353-5800 (for Mandarin speakers)
Read on to find out 8 tell-tale signs that your child or teenager might be facing depression: