It is impossible to imagine anything more devastating for a family than the suicide of their son or daughter. Yet the tragedy of suicide is the leading cause of premature and preventable deaths in Singapore, especially among male teenagers.
Nineteen boys aged 10 to 19 committed suicide in 2018, the highest since suicide figures began being recorded in 1991. In 2017, there were seven suicides by teenage boys.
The total number of suicides also rose last year, with 397 reported – up from 361 in 2017, but still fewer than the 429 in 2016.
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According to the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), The number of people taking their own lives rose across all age groups, except for the elderly – those aged 60 and over.
Last year, 94 young people between the ages 10 to 29 chose to end their own lives.
Suicide is rare in childhood, but starts to become much more common at adolescence, with the risk rising rapidly between the ages of 15 and 19.
These figures do not include suicide attempts, estimated to be up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicide.
Here are some suicide warning signs that parents can spot in vulnerable children that may not be always be as apparent:
Text: Natalya Molok / Additional reporting: bauersyndication.com.au