Suicide cases in Malaysia has increased by a whooping 81% to 1,142 cases last year, compared to 631 cases in 2020.
As for this year, Health Ministry Khairy Jamaluddin the country has recorded 467 suicide cases in the first six months of this year based on police data.
Responding to the issue, Khairy said the ministry is committed in educating and training the public regarding mental health issues, prevention of suicidal behaviour and eliminating the stigma surrounding the matter.
“Hopefully, the efforts will bring hope to affected individuals and they will seek help and support; further reducing the death rate due to suicide.”
“Contributing factors to suicidal behaviour are diverse and complex, such as psychosocial and environmental issues; financial issues such as loss of income or employment; mental illness such as depression; lack of social support and substance abuse,” he said this during the 2022 World Suicide Prevention Day, reported NST.
In the speech, he also shared data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) which reported that over 703,000 deaths are from suicide, with an average of one death every 40 seconds.
“This means that for every life that is lost, about 135 family members or friends will be affected and experience an emotional, social and economic impact.”
“Suicide is one of the 10 leading causes of death in the world and the fourth leading cause of death for those aged 15 to 29.”
Khairy said that when dealing with suicidal behaviour, immediate action and cooperation at all levels are important, starting with individuals, families, communities, stakeholders such as policymakers, politicians, all government and private agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGO).
“The ministry is also proactive in dealing with suicidal behaviour through the implementation of Decriminalisation of Suicide Attempts to encourage those who are affected to come forward and seek help,” he said.
“The ministry has also prepared a moratorium, and it has been presented to the Council of Ministers (cabinet) level in September last year.”
“At the moment, the memorandum is under the responsibility of the Attorney General’s Department for further action.”
Meanwhile, he said the ministry is also conducting other initiatives through the Development of the National Suicide and Fatal Death Registry System (NSFIRM) and it is expected to be operational next year.
“This system allows detailed and accurate statistics related to suicide incidents to be obtained and targeted prevention efforts can be implemented,” he said.