- Between 2019 and May 2021, statistics released by PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) showed a staggering 1,708 cases of suicide, 468 of those occurred from January to May 2021.
- 609 suicide cases were reported in 2019 and 641 in 2020.
- 83.5% of those cases were female.
- Over 50% of the suicide cases were aged between 15 and 18.
Alarming suicide cases per day
Before 2021, the average number of cases of suicide that occurred was 1 to 2 per day. With the latest numbers, it is now up to 3 deaths by suicide per day. The 3 main reasons that caused the suicide rates were:
- Family relationships
- Emotional pressure
- Financial problems.
Getting to the root of the problem
The COVID-19 pandemic, which caused extended lockdowns has been caused a surge in depression cases. It has been reported that there has been an increase in complaints since the pandemic hit while Malaysians have lost their jobs or sources of income due to the lockdowns. The latest figures released by the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) in 2017 found an increase in suicidal ideation from 7.9% to 10% from 2012 to 2017.
Organizations that help in depression
Individuals who are facing emotional problems and would like to seek help or support should find the following.
- Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association (MIASA) – https://miasa.org.my/
- Befrienders Malaysia – https://www.befrienders.org.my/, https://twitter.com/befrienderskl
- RELATE Malaysia – https://relate.com.my/
How to deal with Financial Problems?
Financial issues have driven a lot of victims to suicide. If you are facing financial issues, it is not a dead-end and seek help.
- Debts owed to banks – If the banks are sending debt-collectors, or sending out legal letters to you, they are making their intentions clear. Seek out help if you are unable to pay your debts to the bank. The Agensi Kounseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) could help you here. https://www.akpk.org.my
- Ah Longs – If you took a loan from the Ah Longs or loan sharks and they are starting to take action, don’t avoid or run away. Seek them out and discuss on a repayment term or get help from your local representative. If the Ah Long turns violent, report this to the police.
- Bankruptcy – If you have been sued or filed for bankruptcy, it does not mean you are totally broke. You might have lost your job or failed in your business. You can start again because you tried your best. There is no reason to lose your life over this.
- Food – If the MCO is really making things hard for you until you have no food to put on the table, don’t panic! There are many movements and charities out there which are helping people in need. Raise a white flag if you need food or seek out charity movements like The Hope Branch (https://www.simplygiving.com/nonprofit/the-hope-branch) and Food Aid Foundation (