More urban folk expressing suicidal thoughts

PETALING JAYA: The number of people in Klang Valley expressing suicidal thoughts to Befrienders Kuala Lumpur last year is almost double that of 2008.

In 2008, 1,393 persons expressed that they had suicidal feelings, but the number shot up to 2,668 last year, said Befrienders KL chairman L. Mary Raj.

Relationship issues topped the list of problems expressed, followed by psychiatric and financial problems, she said, adding that most callers who said they had suicidal thoughts were below 30, followed closely by those in the 31 to 50 year age group.

When it comes to race, the Chinese led the pack, making up 60% of callers, followed by Indians and Malays.

Mary said the reason more people were having suicidal thoughts could be due to an increasing number of people living under stressful conditions, as well as greater media publi­city on suicide cases.

Other than phone calls, such expressions were also made through e-mail and face-to-face meetings.

“It is good that they express suicidal feelings because it lowers their risk of committing suicide at the moment they are contemplating it,” Mary said.

According to the National Suicide Registry, 117 suicide cases were recorded in 2007, while 425 cases were seen in 2010. Indians recorded the highest suicide rate at 3.67 for every 100,000 Indians, followed by the Chinese at 2.44 per 100,000.


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