Saturday, June 10, 2006

Suicide rate rises among the young

NST: SEREMBAN: Suicide has become the third leading cause of death among Malaysians aged 15 to 34, and the number of people contemplating suicide in the 18 to 40 age bracket is also on the rise.
According to consultant psychiatrist and International Medical University senior lecturer (psychiatry) Dr Philip George, many of the 15,000 people who seek psychiatric care each year at the Seremban Hospital, where he has a clinic, have either considered suicide or have actually made an attempt.
Speaking to the New Straits Times yesterday, he said: "Previously, it was older people who tended to kill themselves due to financial or work problems. But now, more people between the ages of 18 and 40 are also thinking about it."
He added that 90 per cent of those who contemplated suicide faced problems in relationships, adapting to a new environment, financial insecurity and the pressure to perform well in their studies.
The remaining 10 per cent attempted suicide because of a mental illness such as schizophrenia, or because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"A recent study revealed that an average of seven Malaysians a day committed suicide in 2004. I believe that the figure is higher," he said.
He added that depression, anxiety and having suicidal thoughts were common, but people should know how to deal with them.
"They should talk to someone. It is important for them to know that someone cares about them. We must also help young people build strong mental health."

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