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How much do you actually know about suicide? 

Here are some statements about suicide that could be facts or myths. Test your knowledge and pick which statements are factual:

  • People who talk about suicide won’t do it
  • The poor, not the rich, are most likely to commit suicide
  • Suicide happens without warning
  • When depression lifts, the suicide crisis is over
  • Professionals do not commit suicide
  • Suicide claims a life every 40 seconds

Here’s the stinger: all of these statements are myths – except the last one.

That means close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year, more than those lost to malaria, breast cancer, or war and homicide

At an illuminating suicide prevention talk conducted by Befrienders Ipoh yesterday, QIU staff and students learned about the misconceptions swirling around suicide – a phenomenon which is still misunderstood by many.

Organised by the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, the event was attended by QIU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Raman Narayanasamy, academic and non-academic staff, and our students.

During the talk, Befrienders Ipoh chairperson Mabel Wong delved into suicide statistics, recognising the signs and symptoms, and knowing what to do with a suicidal person.

She explained that many suicidal people were reluctant to reach out because of the stigma that still surrounded the issue.

“People wait until they reach their breaking point because of this stigma,” she said. 

“Suicide is not about a person wanting to die. It’s about a powerful need for their pain to end. If you talk to a suicidal person, talk about their pain.” 

Wong also delved into some of the signs exhibited by potentially suicidal people, including hopelessness, rage, reckless behaviour, substance abuse and withdrawal.

When intervening, she advised the audience to identify referral resources, reassure the person, encourage them to seek help and outline a safety plan.

“Show that you care and be genuine. Be direct but non-confrontational and do not judge,” she said. 

“Talking about suicide won’t put the idea in their heads. If you’ve already observed warning signs, chances are they may have already thought about it.”

Overall, the talk was tremendously educational for everyone involved.

QIU is deeply grateful to our friends from Befrienders Ipoh for their dedication to a noble cause and their willingness to spread awareness and education on suicide prevention.

The Befrienders Ipoh helpline is reachable at 05-5477 933 or 05-5477 955, from 4 pm-11 pm daily. 

The Befrienders KL helpline can be reached at 03-79568145 24 hours a day, every day.


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