KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 (Bernama) -- The public should know how to recognise the warning signs of suicide and encourage the victims to get professional support, said the Befrienders Kuala Lumpur patron Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
He said suicide is preventable and its prevention starts with identifying its warning signs and taking them seriously.
When a friend or loved one says that they are feeling suicidal, Lee said offer some time and listen to them without judgment.
"Encourage them to seek further support by calling the Befrienders or seeing a mental health professional," he said in a statement in conjunction with the launching of the Befrienders Kuala Lumpur Suicide Prevention Booklet, today.
He said the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2017 done on secondary school students between the age of 13 and 17 years old indicated that 10 percent of them mentioned that they have had suicidal ideation in the past 12 months.
“The number of youths facing mental health issues has doubled since the start of the decade. The numbers are troubling with one in 10 individuals with mental health issues in 2011 becoming one in five in 2016," he added.
Lee said if no serious actions taken to combat the issue, mental illness is expected to be the second biggest health problem affecting Malaysians next year, after heart disease.