Singapore, September 18, 2019. MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP
A “invisible mental distress” : it is with these strong words that a Singaporean NGO accompanies the results of its study, concluding that the number of suicides in the city-state has increased by almost 26% in 2022 to reach its highest level for more twenty years old. Suicide rates among young people aged 10 to 29 and people aged 70 to 79 are of particular concern, the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) prevention center said in its annual press release containing statistics on the matter.
A total of 476 people killed themselves in 2022, i.e. “the highest number of deaths by suicide recorded since 2000”, specifies the SOS press release. In 2021, 378 suicides had been recorded.
“The unprecedented rise in the number of suicides in Singapore is deeply heartbreakingsays Jared Ng, psychiatrist and mental health consultant. “This increase is indicative of the unseen mental distress that pervades our society, especially among the young and the elderly. “It is essential that we remain vigilant to pressing issues that continue to have a significant impact on mental health, such as social isolation and loneliness”he adds.
suicide is “the leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 29 for the fourth consecutive year”, which represents 33.6% of deaths in this age group, according to the press release. A total of 125 people in this age group ended their lives in 2022.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), suicide is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide among 15-29 year olds. In Singapore, 48 people between the ages of 70 and 79 committed suicide last year, a 60% increase from 2021, according to SOS.
The city-state, which has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, is experiencing a rapidly aging population: one in four Singaporeans is expected to be 65 or older in 2030, up from one in six three years ago. . “We pledge to continue to take proactive measures to address the rising number of suicides and provide support to those in need”, said the president of SOS. According to the WHO, more than 700,000 people commit suicide every year worldwide.