Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the ratio of suicides from 2007 to 2010 was 1.3 for every 100,000 people, but added that it could be higher.
“These are just figures we collected from post-mortems. We think suicides are under-reported,” he told a press conference after chairing the Mental Health Promotion advisory council meeting here.
Of the 1,156 people who committed suicide over the three-year period, the majority were aged between 24 and 44.
“National statistics also show that men outnumber women three to one, while the Chinese had the highest number of suicides at 48%, followed by Indians (21%), Malays (18%) and other races (13%),” he said.
However, he said the country's suicide rate was far lower than the global average of 16 for every 100,000 people.
Given the increase in suicides in Malaysia, the Government had decided to launch a five-year National Suicide Prevention Strategic Action Plan starting this year, said Liow.
Part of the plan is to shift mental health treatment from being purely institutionalised in hospitals to more community-centric and to be made available at community mental health centres.
“By bringing mental healthcare to the clinics, the Government is adhering to the World Health Organisation's recommendations of getting the public to play a greater role in providing support for mental health patients,” said Liow.
The initial target is to set up one community mental health centre in every state this year.
“Currently, we have 224 psychiatrists in the ministry. The ratio of psychiatrists to the population is 1:150,000, but ideally we need to get a ratio of 1:50,000, which means we need a three-fold increase,” he said.
According To The 'Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force'
Facebook Page, The Incident Happened At Around 7PM Local Time, 27th
The Reason Of Why He Committed Suicide Is Still
Unknown. There Have Been No Further Reports About The Case Either From
Police Or Local Media So Far.
There Has Been 4 Death/Suicide Cases That Have Taken Place In Berjaya Times Square In 2013
Research on links between mental illness and suicide
As part of the Taiwan Aboriginal Study Project: a high proportion of suicides suffered from mental illness before committing suicide (97% to 100%).
Patients suffering from schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder have a risk of suicide that is ten times greater than the general public’s, says a new report.
Denmark has the oldest continuous records of mentally ill patients in the world.
Woman identified, mentally ill
Pihak Polis didalam satu kenyataan memberitahu media bahawa wanita yang membunuh diri di sebuah Pusat menbeli belah di Ibukota, mengalami masalah mental..
“We learnt that the woman had been suffering from mental illness for the past couple of years," police said.
A witness (man) who did not want to be named said at about 10am, he saw the woman leaning on to the panel railing of the 6th floor.
Choo Czek Yeng, 36, maut di tempat kejadian akibat pendarahan teruk di kepala.
Mall asked shoppers to delete photos
"The body of the victim was sent to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for a post mortem," Dang Wangi police chief said.
Pengunjung di Times Square di sini gempar apabila seorang wanita maut selepas terjatuh dari tingkat enam kompleks...
No wonder the guards keep looking/stand near me whenever I try to look down from 3rd floor and above
the whole mall is hush hush about it though. try taking photos they'll ask you delete.
Boyfriend accidentally pushed her off the railing
Early news received it was because quarrel with boyfriend.
Akibat daripada terlalu taksub dgn cinta
Many commenters in Facebook has confirmed this incident is true, however for more detailed info, we are waiting for the news.
some say 8th floor, others 10th floor...dunno which one is true
Angkara Valentine Day . Gadis Nekad Bunuh Diri Di Berjaya Times Square | Miecyber's Blog
she had argument with BF. BF pushed her to railing and she somehow tipped over. bf tried to pull her up but failed. If so the guy is in deep shit now.
yes a suicide has just happened in time square. many police here now. the girl's body has been wrapped in a black plastic. many people surrounding it. some say the girl was heartbroken.
Girl fell from 6th floor
Mayat gadis cina yang dipenuhi darah itu dipercayai telah terjun dari tingkat 6 shopping mall tersebut.
The body of a woman was found in the lobby of Berjaya Times Square shopping mall, next to the U Mobile booth. The deceased is a Chinese girl, around 19 years old.
seorg wanita berbangsa cina umur 19taun terjun dari tingkat 6 ke grnd floor.depan papajohn
Just now 11am .. got one chinese girl commit suicided at Berjaya Times Square jumped from main hall. The victim ... die on the spot !
The tragedy happened at 11am, when a girl jumped from the 6th floor in Berjaya Times Square on Valentine's Day.
The 2nd photo to surface of the incident.
Man found stabbed to death in Jalan Imbi
KUALA LUMPUR: A 54-year-old man was killed in his employer’s car by an unknown attacker in a lane near Berjaya Times Square in Jalan Imbi here.
Police found Wong Fook Lum slumped in the driver’s seat with a stab wound to his chest in the morning incident yesterday.
The car was stalled right in the middle of Jalan 1/77B in the busy shopping district.
Wong, who had dropped his employer at Berjaya Times Square at around 10.50am, was later seen having an argument with a man brandishing a knife at the lane, between the mall and a nearby nightclub.
An ice-cream delivery man told police he spotted the assailant following Wong into the car after the argument.
Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zainuddin Ahmad said the 33-year-old eye-witness also saw the suspect running towards the back of the nearby Sungai Wang Plaza after alighting from the car.
The suspect was described as being in his 50s and wore a cream-coloured T-shirt and dark coloured slacks.
The suspect was said to be short-haired, slim and about 160cm tall.
Wong’s body has been sent to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for a post mortem.
Mayat ditemui dengan kesan tikaman di dalam kereta Mercedes Ben
Full Story: Girl Who Committed Suicide In Berjaya Times Square
What Really Happened At Berjaya Times Square
What Really Happened At Berjaya Times Square
Up until 4pm yesterday, “Berjaya Times Square” was still a trending topic on Twitter while multiple photographs of an apparent “suicide” incident were widely shared across various sites and social media platforms. The initial reports from random sources stated that a body of a 19-year-old Chinese girl was found on the ground floor of Kuala Lumpur’s Berjaya Times Square and that she jumped to her death. There were also rumours that her boyfriend pushed her off the railing due to an argument.
But those reports were wrong.
Dang Wangi police chief ACP Zainuddin Ahmad has since confirmed the incident and said that the deceased is a woman identified as Choo Czek Yeng. She was 36 years old and was believed to be leaning against the railing on the sixth floor of the east wing at about 10am before falling off.
The police were then alerted by the public at 11:25am. At that time of the incident, there were already quite a lot of shoppers in the building.
No visible physical injuries were found on the body. However, the body has been sent to Kuala Lumpur for post-mortem. Choo Czek Yeng is also believed to be receiving treatment for a mental condition and staying with her family in Bangsar.
Police have yet to identify any witnesses of the incident as the area was not covered by CCTV. More to come as the story unfolds.
Sources: Malaysian Digest, SAYS.
Girl Commits Suicide at Times Square
So after breakfast I searched for the free morning papers - Sun Daily! The headlines were "Bloodbath in Southern Thailand" I took no notice of it but as an after thought I figured it's again all boils down to religion conflicts where the minority Islam Militants attacked the authorities with AK 47's and M16's machine guns! At the same time I reflected on John Lennon's "Imagine"
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
Imagine - John Lennon (with lyrics)
Browsed through it for about 30mins and I made my way to the Amusement Centre to mooch around. I was there for about 30 mins or so when someone came in and shouted that somebody had fallen from the balcony from the higher floors upstairs! So I went to take a look and I found out that it happened just about 20 mins ago! From the level I was at, I looked down from the balcony, and I saw a giant canvas spread all around to cover-up the devastated body sprawled on the ground, just imagine the blood spilled all over the ground, the broken bones and limbs and the smashed skull! (Imagine a watermelon falling from that height and it's impact hitting the ground!) The giant canvas covered up the body, with potted plants all placed around to hold the canvas! Security guards, the management, security officers were all over the place! I guess they have called the ambulance, what for already DEAD! perhaps the vans from the Police mortuary to do post-mortem autopsy or whatever!
You see it's all demand and supply and it's nature's call so how to solve? Why the hypocrisy coz you are an Islam country and all? Bullshit! Just look at developed countries and you will see that there's NO Problemo! Govt to legalised and setup proper segmentation and localisation right? Proper system proper rules better to control the system right? What Islam country, just to be corrupted to ease the oil of industry? It's a fact that they are in cahoots with the law - bribery and corruption under the protection from the police!
She also said that this would be the 3rd or 4th case of commit suicide/accidental fall or whatever in BTS! I explained to her from what I read in the papers, about 2/3 years ago in Sg. Wang Plaza, there was a young Chinese damsel who accidentally fell from the high balcony railings trying to retrieve her handphone which accidentally felled when she was leaning on the railings. playing and fidgetting her cellphone!
|By FARAH HARITH (email@example.com)|
|Thursday, 14 February 2013 17:01|
Dang Wangi police chief ACP Zainuddin Ahmad, who confirmed the incident, said police were alerted by the public at 11.25am.
He said initial checks showed the woman, identified as Choo Czek Yeng, 36, was believed to be leaning against the railing on the sixth floor of the east wing about 10am before falling off.
"She is also believed to be receiving treatment for a mental condition and staying with her family in Bangsar.
He said police have yet to identify any witnesses of the incident. The area, he added was not covered by CCTV.
"We found no visible physical injuries on the body," said Zainuddin.
The body has been sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital for post-mortem.
Meanwhile, comments and photographs of the incident began appearing on the social media networks in the afternoon.
On Twitter, as at 4pm, Berjaya Times Square is still on the trending topic list.
Suddenly I decided NOT to go to BTS for a while so as to respect the poor girl, it's weird thinking that the helpless miserable girl now dead and gone but her ghost would be very "MAANG" very angry and fierce bcoz' according to Chinese superstitions her ghost being a unmarried girl and all! And she will forever be in BTS! Believe it or not!
I really dont know what to say in conclusion but this is my 2 cents worth okay?
If the poor girl was from around the area of Pudu, sad to say Pudu being a notorious area known for seedy and shady illegal gangsterism, vice, prostitution, gambling and triad activities etc!
Berjaya Times Square
Recently, a Nepalese person committed suicide by jumping off the roof of a shophouse in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. Another couple attempted to kill themselves and their five-year-old child. The child died they didn’t.
On 14th September 2013, I gave a talk and subsequently participated in a forum on “Helping Hands” at the Help University. To my surprise, the topic of suicide kept coming up during the forum.
When probed, the secondary school and university students present in the room confessed that suicidal thoughts were part of their daily lives. The increasing pressure was to succeed was to blame.
Suicide is a serious problem in this country.
Section 309 of the Penal Code criminalizes a person for attempting suicide in Malaysia. It carries a sentence of up to one year in prison, or a fine, or both if found guilty.
Some hardcore fans of harsh punishments might echo that imposing stricter sentences is the best way to combat the suicide epidemic.
However, such laws are both unwarranted and inhumane.
People are more likely to commit suicide if they have a family history of suicide; faced a major loss such as death, break-up or divorce; have major depression or alcohol/drug problems; or if they are unemployed.
Indisputably, people have the right to die. But, in most cases, people only opt for suicide when they are experiencing a sense of loneliness, helplessness, isolation and unbearable emotional pain.
Death is seen as the only way to end their extreme pain.
They may well change their mind if only someone communicates to them that there is still hope and help in the world.
Debunking suicide myths
What can we do to prevent suicide? We can start by debunking the common suicide myths in an effort to reduce the stigma of suicide in our society.
Myth: People who talk about suicide will not actually do it?
Fact: No! They will. They will not talk about it otherwise.
Myth: People who are contemplating suicide are unwilling to seek help?
Fact: No! They are. They just do not know how.
Myth: Once people decide to kill themselves, nothing can stop them?
Fact: No! There is something. It is called genuine emotional support.
Myth: Talking about suicide will give people the idea of doing it?
Fact: No! It will not. Talking about suicide will actually stop people from doing it.
Myth: People who are contemplating suicide are lacking of religious faith?
Fact: No! Not necessarily. Exceptionally religious people commit suicide too.
Offering emotional support
Equipping ourselves with the knowledge on suicide warning signs and ways to support a person who is contemplating suicide will help in preventing many tragic deaths as well.
Befrienders Worldwide list the following as the common suicide warning signs:
- regularly making remarks such as “I cannot go on,” “Nothing matters anymore,” or “I want to end it all”
- becoming depressed or withdrawn
- writing about suicide and death
- behaving recklessly such as driving carelessly
- getting things in order such as giving away valued possessions or writing a will
- showing a marked change in behaviour, attitudes or appearance such as not grooming
- abusing drugs or alcohol
- irregular mood swings and behaviours such as constant crying, impulsiveness or self-mutilation
However, people who are contemplating suicide do not really need advices or solutions.
Oftentimes, they will be able to find their own solutions to their crisis once they get some emotional support.
Similarly, simply saying things like “just cheer up,” or “everything will be okay” alone is not going to be helpful.
The most vital support that suicidal people need is a pair of listening ears.
They need someone who would take the time to really listen to them without making judgments or offering advices.
Probably, this is why people often go to god when they want to vent their feelings. God appears as someone who just listens without making judgments or offering advices.
Furthermore, it is important to communicate to people who are suicidal that we truly care about them. A simple phrases like “I care” makes a tremendous difference.
We can also refer them to Befrienders Malaysia which offers quality emotional support through trained volunteers. Hotline: 03-79568144/8145; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.befrienders.org.my. One can meet them face to face too.
In sum, suicide is a preventable cause of death. Let’s help put a stop to it by being alert and compassionate towards people around us.
TamilSelvan Ramis is a FMT columnist and blogs at www.facebook.com/selvanztod. He also has the following under his Facebook – About You section: “If you don’t have anyone else to talk to, please text/email me. I will always make myself available to anyone who needs someone to talk to, not because I am too free, but because I don’t want another person to commit suicide just because they didn’t have a listening ear.”
The fact is the rate of suicides in the country is alarming and should be a cause for national concern.
According to the National Suicide Registry Malaysia, in 2011 there was an average two suicides a day – 60 in a month – in the country.
According to state PKR women chief Voon Shiak Ni, the numbers are likely to be higher because many of such cases go unreported.
A lawyer herself, Voon said: “It seems that the fast paced, financial issues and stressful daily life is taking its toll on many. The suicide rates in the country keep rising.“
The news of another family suicide attempt where parents were arrested after their 5-year-old daughter died in the attempt is shocking and sad. Earlier this year, there were two other cases.
“It is high time that everyone be made aware of how to play a role in preventing suicides,” she said.
Voon was responding to the latest report of a bid by a couple to kill themselves and their 5-year-old child. The child died but they survived.
In July in Sibu a woman and her two children committed suicide after she found out the depth of her husband’s debt.
In January in Pengerang – three members of a family committed suicide because of financial problems.
“People must identify the warning signs and lend emotional support and help their friends or relatives to seek help to avoid them from ending their lives or the lives of their whole family as a solution to their problems.
“Suicide is a crime … the ministries (of Health and Women, family and Community Development) and civil society must address the issue and take positive steps to create awareness,” she added.
Aishvarya Sinniah,1,2 T. Maniam,1 Tian Po Oei,2 and Ponnusamy Subramaniam31Department of Psychiatry, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, 56000 Cheras, Malaysia
2School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
3Health Psychology Programme, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaReceived 31 August 2013; Accepted 27 October 2013; Published 3 February 2014Academic Editors: C. M. Beasley, J. H. Beitchman, and C. EvrenCopyright © 2014 Aishvarya Sinniah et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.AbstractThe aim of this paper is to review the literature on suicide attempts in Malaysia. PsycINFO, PubMed, and Medline databases from 1845 to 2012 and detailed manual search of local official reports from the Ministry of Health and the Malaysian Psychiatric Association and unpublished dissertations from 3 local universities providing postgraduate psychiatric training were included in the current review. A total of 38 studies on suicide attempts in Malaysia were found and reviewed. Twenty-seven (76%) of the studies on suicide attempts were descriptive studies looking at sociodemographic data, psychiatric illnesses, and methods and reasons for suicide attempts. No study has been conducted on treatment and interventions for suicide attempts and the impact of culture was rarely considered. The review showed that in order for researchers, clinicians, and public health policy makers to obtain a better understanding of suicide attempts in Malaysia, more systematic and empirically stringent methodologies and research frameworks need to be used. 1. IntroductionAlmost one million people die from suicide annually, and the average annual suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 globally . By the year 2020, the WHO estimates that approximately 1.53 million people or nearly 3% of all world deaths would be due to suicide, and 10–20 times more people would attempt suicide worldwide. This represents on average one death every 20 seconds and one attempt every 1-2 seconds .In Malaysia, report on government hospital admissions for attempted suicides and deaths as a consequence of this showed constant rise from the year 1999 to 2007. Patients’ ages range mostly from 12 to 24 and female numbers are more than males.Suicidal behavior is a growing cause for concern in Malaysia since suicide rates have increased by 60% over the past 45 years . Malaysia also has a moderately high suicide rate which is approximately 12 per 100,000, though this figure is an estimate that remains disputed as Maniam and Chan  have shown. The suicidal rate is comparable to that of countries such as Singapore with 10 per 100,000 . It is also a growing global public health concern since self-inflicted injuries represent 1.4% of the global burden of disease worldwide in 2002 and are expected to increase to 2.4% by 2020 . In Malaysia, 30,000 family members or friends were estimated to be negatively affected directly or indirectly by suicidal acts every year .With suicidal behavior on the rise in Malaysia, empirical research has an important role to play in shedding more light on this problem and its possible solutions. To date, however, very little systematic review of research on this area has been undertaken. Attempting to address this gap, our paper summarizes the results of a systematic literature review of suicide attempt in Malaysia and identifies future directions for research, public health policy, and clinical intervention.2. MethodStudies on suicide attempt in Malaysia were identified after a comprehensive search of the biggest electronic databases: PsycINFO (1845-present), Medline (1950-present), and PubMed (1951-present). Manual search of local official reports from Ministry of Health and Malaysian Psychiatric Association was also undertaken. Local journals in Malaysia such as the Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences, Malaysian Journal of Psychiatry, and Malaysian Journal of Pathology were also reviewed. Finally, unpublished theses and abstracts presented in conferences were obtained from libraries of 3 major universities in Malaysia with medical schools.Key words used in the search were “suicide and Malaysia.” The use of generic key words was intentional in order to capture as many published papers as possible. These key words were selected by looking at the frequency used in most of the papers collected early in the process of review and they yielded 39 citations in PsycINFO, 44 in Medline, and 52 in PubMed. One hundred and three studies were excluded leaving 32 articles related to suicidal behavior. However, 2 articles on suicidal behavior were excluded since they were not studies on suicide attempt. Figure 1 presents the process flow that was undertaken for our literature search.718367.fig.001Figure 1: Flow chart of the reviewing process.Searches were refined by identifying studies published in English which included descriptive, cross sectional, and experimental studies and reviews. Twenty-nine published journal articles on suicide attempts were found to be suitable for the review. An additional 6 studies from local university libraries and 2 studies from unpublished theses were included. The comprehensive literature search yielded 38 studies on suicide attempts in Malaysia deemed acceptable to be included in the review (Figure 1).Table 1 presents the following important features of relevant studies: (a) study number and reference, (b) methodology used, (c) number of participants, (d) gender, (e) age, (f) marital status, (g) representative of the ethnicity, (h) education level, (i) employment status, (j) psychiatric diagnosis given, (k) method used for suicidal behavior, and finally (l) reasons for suicidal behavior.tab1Table 1: Studies of attempted suicide in Malaysia.It was important that information gathered from the studies during the review could provide some direction for future research. An asterisk (*) was used to identify studies that utilized a recognized psychological instrument to measure suicide attempt. This was of particular interest to authors as a way of identifying suicidal behavior scales that have already been used and/or validated for use in the Malaysian context. Study “methodology” (Table 1, column 2) was included to show the range of methodological approaches used by previous researches. Target groups were identified to give a sense of the sample covered by these studies. Sample size is also noted since larger sample sizes give more reliable results than smaller sample sizes (
). Since Malaysia is a multiethnic society, ethnicity of study participants was also included. Information on sex and age distribution would also guide recommendations on intervention programs especially in schools. Marital status, education level, and employment status information were reported to identify trends that may possibly indicate whether these can indeed be protective factors behind suicidal behavior as reported widely in the Western literature. Psychiatric diagnosis was also noted to identify types of mental illness reported by patients who were involved in suicidal behavior; therefore early diagnosis and prevention can be done. Knowing the methods used in suicide attempts is useful for future preventive work and finally the reasons for suicidal behavior will be useful for future research, especially in the area of risk and protective factors.3. ResultsA total of 38 studies from the year 1969 to 2011 fulfilled this review’s inclusion criteria on attempted suicide in Malaysia (see Table 1). However, studies by Orr and Tin [7, 8] and Maniam [9, 10] used same subjects in both their papers. Therefore, the present review would treat each author’s paper as one study, respectively. Sixty-three percent (63%) of the data were mainly gathered from government hospitals during their admission of suicide patients after the suicide attempt, and 34% were retrospective data from hospital charts and pathological records. The remaining 3% were gathered from subjects’ hospital visits. A total of 10177 suicide attempters were studied across the 36 studies, sample sizes ranging from 4485 persons  to 1 person .Six studies [13–18] used recognized scales to measure suicidal behaviors like the Suicide Intent Scale, Scale for Suicidal Ideation, Hopelessness Scale, and Reasons for Living Inventory. However, none of these studies validated these scales for use in a Malaysian context. Seven studies did not provide their sample classification according to gender [9–11, 15, 19–22], 3 studies only had female subjects [12, 16, 17], and one study  only had male subjects. Of the remaining studies, 24 studies [7, 8, 13, 14, 18, 24–43] reported more female (
) than male attempters (
) and only one study  had more male attempters than female. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention  women attempt suicide three times as often as men and this is consistent with findings on studies among suicide attempters in Malaysia. The fact that depression affects women about twice as often as men and that Malaysian women ranked third compared to men who ranked tenth on depression as the most disabling disease  might be a possible explanation for the higher rates of suicide attempts among females in Malaysia. While the age group of suicide attempters was not reported or unavailable in seventeen studies, the remaining studies reported that the highest number of attempters clustered within the age range of 20–30 years old. Sixteen studies (see Table 1, column 6) did not report the marital status of attempters. Study 31 was only conducted among married couples. Generally, there were more single attempters (
) than married (
) ones. This may indicate that in Malaysia, marriage could perhaps serve as a protective factor from suicide behavior consistent with findings by Lorant et al.  and Nisbet . On ethnicity, the highest numbers of suicide attempters were Indians (
), followed by the Chinese (
), Malays (
), and other ethnicities. Maniam  listed some of the risk factors among Malaysian Indians which could explain the higher number of suicide attempts in this group including poverty (a majority of Indians are from the lower social class), alcoholism (this problem is the highest among the Indian ethnic group and it is well known as a contributory factor to the development of depression as well as ranking high as a risk factor for suicide), psychiatry morbidity, caste issues, other social distress, cultural and religious factors, and attitude to suicide. On the other hand, it is much more difficult for Muslims Malays to attempt suicide since it is against their religion. Education also contributed to some differences; 89% of the studies showed that suicide attempters had secondary level of education compared to primary and tertiary. However, this might merely reflect the fact that a majority of the population has had some secondary level of education. There were more employed suicide attempters (
) than unemployed ones (
). The remaining (
) were students and homemakers. Unemployment has been associated with a higher likelihood of attempted suicide  while employment has been known to act as the protective factor for suicide attempters . However, the protective effect of employment may not apply uniformly across the population, as studies indicate that there is a high level of job stress among workers in Malaysia .One thousand and seven (17%) suicide attempters were diagnosed with some form of mental illness ranging from adjustment disorder to schizophrenia. Suicide methods used by the attempters include self-poisoning (89%) using weedkillers, pesticides, insecticides, household products, psychotropic drugs, and other chemicals. Suicide attempts using agricultural poisons were also high due to their easy availability, being often carelessly stored in high concentrations in farming communities with easy access to distressed people . Other methods used by suicide attempters include wrist cutting, drowning, jumping from a height, and inflicting other self-inflicted injuries. Finally, reasons for attempting suicide were recorded in 11 studies and the most common reasons, 46% (
), were due to conflicts with spouse, lover, and family members and at work place.There were other interesting findings from this review. Nizam , for example, found that 74% of the suicide attempters in his study did not know how to access counseling services even when 53% of them have heard about such services from the media. Hussain and Zafri  also reported that 60% of married suicide attempters had been married for more than ten years. It was also noted that sixty percent of them had two or less children. Zuraida  focused on poor social network as a risk factor for suicidal behavior, emphasizing the importance of evaluating a patient’s social support system as part of the management plan for suicide attempters. Meanwhile, Salleh et al.’s study  provided some evidence for the value of teaching patients coping skills in reducing future risk of suicide. This is consistent with Kannan et al.’s  findings showing how task-oriented coping skills, religious beliefs, and responsibility to family served as protective factors for patients in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Maisarah  also reported religiosity as the protective factor among suicide attempters. Other factors such as being a non-Malay, staying away from parents, media exposure, stress, poor coping skills, and not seeking professional help were found to be risk factors for suicide behavior among adolescents. Koh et al.  found that among suicide attempters in his study who were admitted to the University Malaya Medical Centre, the Indian population had the lowest scores on staying alive (not succumbing) after the attempt. The Indians were also found to have the highest scores on the Suicide Ideation Scale. Sorketti and Zuraida  reported that there were significant differences in the motives between those with self-poisoning and self-cutting. Meanwhile, Ainsah et al.  studied the relationship between the menstrual cycles and deliberate self-harm. The authors reported that deliberate self-harm was significantly associated with the menstrual cycle at the follicular phase, menarche with later onset, and menses with shorter duration. Personality traits of sensitivity, impulsivity, and worthlessness and personality disorders of paranoid and borderline types were found to be common in deliberate self-harm patients by Hamidin and Maniam . The authors also reported that there was a high prevalence of life events among parasuicide patients when compared to medically ill patients, especially during the month prior to their admission to the hospital .In summary, it should be noted that most (76%) of the studies on suicide attempt were descriptive studies that looked at sociodemographic data, psychiatric illness, and methods and reasons for suicide attempts. There is a clear need for more empirical studies that can explore suicide behavior in Malaysia in greater depth including exploring relationship between suicide attempt and mental illness, physical illnesses, risk factors, and protective factors. Another gap is the lack of scale validation that can give reliable and valid detection of suicidal behavior among Malaysians. Ideally, government needs to pay more attention to treating mental illnesses, especially depression, in the community in order to prevent suicidal behavior. Meanwhile, psychiatric and psychological services need to include behavioral management such as enhancing social support, problem solving skills, and coping skill techniques in their management. The decision by Malaysian government to ban paraquat in 2002 was one of the good movements to limit access to this product.4. DiscussionIt is evident from this review that research on suicide attempts in Malaysia is quite limited in areas like research design, statistical methodology, instrumentation, and intervention.4.1. Limitations in the Study of Suicidal Behavior in Malaysia(1) Malaysia is a multiracial society with Malays (54%), Chinese (25%), Indians (7.5%), and other ethnicities (13.5%). However, the impact of ethnicity on suicide attempt has not been studied systematically. Furthermore, Western scales have not been validated for use among non-Western people in Malaysia.(2) In terms of sample size, many of the studies had inadequate sample sizes which might not report reliable results. The impact of gender has also been mostly overlooked.(3) Another notable limitation is the lack of scale validation that can give reliable and valid detection of suicidal behavior among Malaysians. While Reasons for Living Inventory (RFL), Beck Suicidal Ideation Scale (BS1), and Beck Intent Scale (BIS) have been used in these studies in Malaysia, no attempt has been made to establish the reliability and validity of these scales for use in the Malaysian context. It is important that cultural and linguistic factors be taken into consideration, as these would affect the cut-off scores of some of the instruments for measuring suicidal behavior in Malaysia. Since these measures were derived from a Western perspective of understanding and investigation, they would seriously affect the interpretation of results in the Malaysian setting.(4) A major gap in suicide research is in the area of treatment. There is no single study on treatment or effectiveness of risk management policies addressing suicide attempt. There are several reasons for this lack. One is that there is no specialised treatment/research facility for this difficult clinical group; the other could be due to lack of training/knowledge among the mental health professionals in conducting psychotherapy research, especially in a high risk population such as suicide attempters.In summary, it is noted that most (76%) of the studies on suicide attempt were descriptive studies that looked at sociodemographic data, psychiatric illness, and methods and reasons for suicide attempts. There is a clear need for more empirical studies that can explore suicide behavior in Malaysia in greater depth including exploring relationship between suicide attempt and mental illness, physical illnesses, risk factors, and protective factors. Psychiatric and psychological services need to include behavioral management such as enhancing social support, problem solving skills, and coping skill techniques in their management. The decision by the Malaysian government to ban paraquat in 2002 seemed to be a good movement to limit access to this highly toxic product. However, in recent years, this ban has been withdrawn.4.2. Future Directions in Research of Suicidal Behavior in MalaysiaFuture research should focus on developing sound empirical research design and methodologies for studying suicidal attempt. This should include validating established instruments or measures for use in the Malaysian context. This process has started in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. In addition, clinical and evaluation studies on treatment in the form of pharmacotherapy or psychological therapy ought to be included. There is also a need for researchers to focus on genetic/biological studies on suicidal behavior which is lacking in Malaysia. The impact of gender needs to be included in the studies. The impact of cultural differences on suicide behavior remains an interesting area of study in the Malaysian context and will benefit from a more systematic and empirical approach. Finally, there should be more effort to reach a wide range of research participants so that prevention of suicidal behavior can be planned at different levels.5. ConclusionIf done more systematically, research on suicide attempts in Malaysia can shed light on the prevention and treatment of suicidal behavior in Malaysia. This needs to be addressed as a major public health concern. Suicide behavior contributes to a decrease in productivity and increase in national expenditure. Sound empirical research on suicidal behavior is an important element to suicide management.Conflict of InterestsThe authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.AcknowledgmentDr Oei is now an Emeritus Professor of UQ and Director of CBT Unit, Toowong Private Hospital. He is also a visiting Professor (part-time) at James Cook University, Singapore and at Beijing Normal University, PR China.
- Published on Thursday, 29 May 2014 08:56
- Written by Badrul Muzammil
The ratio of suicides from 2007 to 2010 was 1.3 for every 100,000 people (the global average is 16 suicides for every 100,000 people), but it could be higher as these figures were based only on post-mortem reports, said Health Minister Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai .
Suicidal behaviour in Malaysia has been recognised as a major public health issue, Liow said when officiating at the state-level World Suicide Prevention Day Commemoration 2012 at the State Sports Complex in Likas yesterday.
Although the Malaysian suicide ratio may be lower compared to countries like Hong Kong with 15 per 100,000 population and Thailand with 5.6 per 100,000 population, it may be due to under-reporting for various reasons such as the stigma attached to suicide, religious concerns, social attitudes and legal reasons, he said.
“In 2011, the National Health Morbidity Survey conducted by the Ministry of Health yielded a prevalence of 1.7 percent for suicidal ideation among adults, 0.9 percent for suicide plans and 0.5 for suicide attempts,” he said.
Liow said the study also shows younger people aged 16 to 24 years, females as well as Indians had a higher risk of suicidal behaviour.
He said suicidal behaviour can result from a complex interactive biological, social, psychological and environmental factors.
Those who experienced stressful life events including family and interpersonal conflicts, relationship breakdowns, financial problems, job loss, loss of loved ones through death, physical illness and cancer are at higher risk of suicide.
Other risk factors include people with mental disorders and substance abuse and those with a history of previous suicide attempts.
The scenario of suicidal behaviour in the country may change in the future due to rapid urbanization, which also caused socio-economic and cultural changes.
The city has come to the ‘kampungs’, meaning the Malaysian community is now exposed to higher levels of stress, which may lead to depression, Liow said.
With this year’s theme “Sucide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope”, efforts to prevent suicide must focus on strengthening the proactive factors and people’s resilience, he said.
“Resilience is the ability to cope with and adjust to adverse life events, having effective coping and problem-solving skills as well as positive help-seeking behaviour are proactive against the development of suicidal behaviour.
“Other proactive factors are social and cultural factors such as religious and social integration, social connectedness, good network and relationships with friends, colleagues and neighbours. These are all associated with reduced risk of suicide,” added Liow.
To address the issue of mental health and suicidal behaviour, the Ministry of Health is providing mental health services through four mental institutions and 42 hospitals throughout the country, with 124 psychiatrists, said Liow.
The ministry also provides mental health screening and healthy mind intervantion such as counseling and mental health life-skills intervention through the clinics.
At the primary health care level, he said there are family medicine specialists to conduct early detection as well as prompt treatment of mental health problems as well as depression.
The Ministry of Health is currently collaborating with the Ministry of Education to promote mental health in schools through instilling healthy minds and ensuring that students will have good coping skills.
“The responsibility for suicide prevention does not lie with one agency alone. All agencies be they government or non-governmental, have a key role to play.
“Everyone, including family members, friends, community leaders or employers can play their part.
“We must realise that suicide can be prevented. As an individual, we can reach out and offer help to those whom we know are suffering from emotional crises, depressive symptoms or having suicidal intentions,” he said.
Liow added there are simple things the public can do be part to prevent suicide behaviour such as take their problems seriously, take time to listen and show empathy, be supportive and caring, not ignoring the situation or insult them, identify their support groups like close friends, family and office mates and also seeking professional help.
He also urged the media to play an important role in preventing suicide, saying they must endeavor to provide accurate information to the public on issue regarding mental health, suicide risk and proactive factors and what family members, friends and society can do to help.
During the event, Liow also handed over presents to winners of Suicide Prevention essay writing competition organized by Kota Kinabalu Befrienders.
Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/09/10/suicide-on-rise-in-malaysia-liow/#ixzz3DkW0dPAf
About the NSRM
Until recently, Malaysia does not have official suicide rates. The National Statistics Department quoted figures as low as 1 per 100,000 suicides per year (Department of Statistics Malaysia 2003); while cross sectional research in different parts of the country suggested higher figures (Maniam 1988; Hayati, Salina et al. 2004). It is postulated that among the difficulties that had caused these discrepancies are: the degree of subjectivity in identifying a death of suicide, lack of structured data describing the ‘manner of death’ for cases of traumatic or non-natural deaths, and inconsistencies in the way terms are defined and data collected and coded. In response to this, the National Suicide Registry Malaysia was officiated in 2007 to compile the census of suicidal deaths that occur in Malaysia via its network of forensic services. It is sponsored by the Psychiatric and Mental Health Services and the Forensic Medicine Services of the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH); while the Clinical Research Centre (CRC) provides the technical expertise. In 2008, the Institute of Health Behaviour Research has come on board to spearhead a platform for further research in this area. The NSRM is managed by a Joint Technical Committee comprising of the four agencies. Meanwhile, an Advisory Committee provides governance to ensure that the NSRM stay focused on its objectives and to assure its continuing relevance and justification.
Suicide rates are a recognized health outcome indicator internationally (World Health Organization 2001). This project will provide information on the natural history and causation of suicide; the contributing factors most amenable to preventive efforts; and the most appropriate target population(s). This information will aid in planning and place preventive efforts on a more solid foundation (World Health Organization 2002). This registry will be able to provide both state- and national- level data.
Suicidal acts will cause medical costs which include emergency transport, medical, hospital, rehabilitation, pharmaceutical, ancillary, and related treatment costs, as well as funeral/coroner expenses for fatalities and administrative costs (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control 2002). Better and evidence-based efforts at suicide prevention may be able to reduce suicide rates in Malaysia and allow the government/families to offset these costs. Apart from that, a structured investigation into the process of identification and reporting of non-natural deaths (specifically suicide) will assist in streamlining the management of dead bodies and ascertaining the manner of death. Indirectly it will also provide a training exercise for medical officers in reporting deaths by suicide.
Although this is an early effort, certain interesting trend had emerged, namely: the higher proportion of married persons who committed suicide; male preponderance in those who are married as compared to females; the choice of lethal methods by the female suicides. We certainly hope that with better support, infrastructure and human resource training, these trends can be investigated further.
The uniqueness of NSRM lies in its multidisciplinary platform. Although this may present some communication problems, it also offers advantages in the form of pooling of resources and expertise. After all, suicide is a very complex phenomenon. Being a registry, the NSRM might not be able to provide in-depth details about the causation of suicide. However, it would certainly identify trends and form the baseline for other research in this area.
Please download the full report below...
|NSRM_report 2007 (English - pdf) [1166 Kb]|
1.The Ability To Perceive Emotion :- An individual must be able to understand emotions (verbal and non-verbal signals) and accurately perceive them.
2.The Ability To Reason Emotions :- An individual must be able to use emotions to promote thinking and cognitive (mental) activity.
3.The Ability To Understand Emotions :- An individual must be able to understand and intrepret emotions.
4.The Ability To Manage Emotions :- An individual must be able to manage his/her emotions effectively.
In general, individuals with higher than average EQ are more successful in meeting environmental demands and pressures.Whereas, individuals with low EQ tend to be less successful in meeting environmental demands and pressures.Individuals who lack the ability to perceive emotions, not able to solve problems, not able to handle stress and impulsive tend to have low EQ.
What is IQ? IQ stands for 'Intelligence Quotient'.It is a numerical score which is used to measure a person's intelligence.The term 'IQ' was first coined by William Stern, a German psychologists in 1912. There are many methods used to test a person's IQ. Most tests involve a number of problems which must be solved in a set of time, under supervision. IQ scores are generally used as predictors of educational achievement, special needs,job performance and income.
* The question is, which type of intelligence is most needed to hinder a person from committing suicide. Is it EI or IQ...? What is your opinion ( Leave your comments below)..?
- Published on Monday, 28 October 2013 09:01
“Generally, those aged 50 and above will experience emotional, personality and character change, and decline in mind functioning,” said Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman, deputy director-general of Health (Public Health), at a seminar held in conjunction with World Mental Health Day in October.
Depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life.
Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition.
It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Suicide results in an estimated 1 million deaths every year.
Even as a developing nation today, there is already an alarming rate in the number of suicide cases in Malaysia, with 60 people commit suicide every month in the country, according to the National Suicide Registry Malaysia.
The Health Ministry announced that more than 1,000 people have killed themselves over a 3-year period of 2007 – 2010.
What is even more alarming than the stats is the fact that more cases have gone unreported.
According to the 2011 National Health and Morbidity Survey, 12% of Malaysians aged between 18 and 60 are suffering from some form of mental illness.
Of the percentage affected by mental illness, depression made up 2%, psychosis 1%, worrying 1.8%, while the rest involved anxiety disorder, which is a chronic disease, and mild mental diseases.
There were more men than women, the gender ratio being 2.9:1 (males: females), and ethnicity-wise, Indians had the highest suicide rate of 3.67 per 100,000. The Malays and Bumiputera of Sabah and Sarawak had lower rates of 0.32 to 0.37 per 100,000.
"The onset of psychotic illness is 15 to 24 years of age for males, and 24 to 35 for females.
“The males normally start getting mental problems when they start discovering their identity. For women, the illness usually becomes apparent after they got married," revealed Hospital Putrajaya (HPJ) psychiatry department head Dr Azizul Awaluddin.
In response to the rising number of people diagnosed with mental illness, the Mental Health Community Centre was set up by the Health Ministry in November last year.
Located in Presint 11 in Putrajaya, the centre is the first of its kind in the country. It offers psychiatric community services which includes home visits so that patients are not confined to the hospital, but have the support of family and community.
In Malaysia, our health indices remain one of the best in the developing world. We have one psychiatrist to a population of 115,000, which is admirable, although ideally, as per the WHO recommendation, it should be one psychiatrist to a population of 50,000.
With a total of 252 psychiatrists and 80 clinical psychologists, as well as four mental institutions and 48 government hospitals that provide psychiatric and mental health services, Malaysia is well prepared.
The theme of World Mental Health Day in 2013 is “Mental health and older adults” which highlights the role of the government, family and community in maintaining the mental health of this group by supporting them positively in preparing for old age.
The Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) provides tips in its website on ways to face the process of aging.
It includes staying physically and mentally active, having proper nutrition, regular medical checks as well as adjusting to a different role in old age.
It's only a few years before it's 2020, so you better get started.
|Police consider using the law on suicide|
|Tuesday, 25 November 2008 08:31am|
• Roger Tan: When hope is gone, seek help
©New Straits Times (Used by permission)
by Farrah Naz Karim
• Man falls to death
PUTRAJAYA: Concerned that more people are resorting to ending their lives at the first sign of problems, police are considering enforcing the law on attempted suicide as a form of deterrence.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said, while Section 309 of the Penal Code stated that anyone guilty of attempted suicide could face imprisonment of up to a year or fined or both, police had not been enforcing it.
This, he said, was because attempted suicide, as a crime, was unlike other illicit acts and needed to be dealt with delicately.
He said police were still investigating two recent cases of attempted suicide in Terengganu, involving a woman with marital problems and a teenager who threatened to jump off a nine-storey hotel.
"It is not your normal crime. We act on it with wisdom and look at the act from many angles, including the root causes and what prompted them to do it as well as if they have mental disturbances.
"Dealing with people who attempt suicide requires the involvement of many parties, including specialists and psychiatrists.
"We are concerned with the increase in suicide attempts and if we have to start charging people to deter them from doing so, we will," Ismail told the New Straits Times yesterday.
He added that the police also worked closely with relevant agencies to promote rehabilitation of those who had attempted suicide.
Asked if the police had ever levelled charges against anyone for attempting suicide, Ismail said he could only recall one case many years ago, where the person was charged in court.
Federal Territory Religious Department (Jawi) director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali said, while Jawi was not empowered to take action against those who attempt suicide, the organisation offered counselling to Muslims who felt there was no way out for them but to end their lives.
This year alone, he said, Jawi had intervened in at least five cases where individuals, bogg-ed down by family and financial problems, had contemplated suicide.
"It is a huge sin, where Islam is concerned, for one to take his own life. We try in the best way we can to rehabilitate these individuals so that they do not repeat this sin.
"My door is open to Muslims at all times if they need to talk out their problems with me."
Under the law, it is not a crime if a person is caught at the preparatory stage of suicide (for example, if someone is caught after writing a suicide note or in the midst of tying a noose to hang himself).
However, if he is already hanging on a noose but the rope snaps and he is caught alive, it is considered an offence under Section 309.
Section 306 of the Penal Code states that abetting a suicide carries a maximum jail term of 10 years and a fine.
According to the Malaysian Psychiatric Association, suicide rates have increased by 60 per cent in the past 45 years, with an estimated seven people attempting suicide daily.
The National Suicide Registry has recorded 31 suicide attempts by Malaysians and two non-Malaysians so far this year.
Records also show that in 2000, 53 children under the age of 11 and 1,837 people above the age of 12 attempted suicide.
The suicide rate among youths in Malaysia is estimated to be three in every 100,000.
The Health Ministry in its "Guidelines in the Management of Psychiatric Disorders" said between 10 and 15 per cent of individuals who had attempted suicide eventually succeeded in killing themselves. Males were twice as likely to try again as females.
The risk was particularly high in the first year after a failed attempt.
It also recorded that suicide rates increased with age. The highest rates were among the elderly. Among men aged 65 and above, the suicide rate was 40 per 100,000, two to four times higher than the rate for women.
Among women, the findings revealed that most of the attempted suicides were in the 15 to 24 age group (283 per 100,000) and among men most of them were in the 25 to 34 age group (199 per 100,000).
According to a 2006 estimate, 13 in 100,000 Malaysians killed themselves as opposed to eight in the 1980s.
The suicide rate in the Indian community was the highest with 30 to 35 in every 100,000 attempting suicide, compared with 15 Chinese and six Malays.
However, the rates could be even higher as some cases may not have been reported, due to either the stigma attached to suicide or because the deceased's life insurance would normally contain a clause denying payments on the ground of self-inflicted death.
SUICIDE ATTEMPTS THIS YEAR
- Feb 18: A cancer victim threatens to stab himself at the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department but department head Datuk Michael Chong and a security guard manage to coax the 64-year-old into surrendering his knife. - Feb 19: A woman, in her 20s, stabs herself in the abdomen several times in a toilet cubicle at a shopping complex in Bukit Bintang. Workers force open the door and she is sent to hospital. - April 9: A 24-year-old man leaps from a restaurant at Genting Highlands but is saved by the Genting Skyway safety net. He spends six hours on the ledge of the net before being helped down. - July 14: A woman leaps from the 12th floor of an apartment building in Kuala Lumpur but her fall is broken by a glass walkway. She suffers a broken hip and legs. - Oct 7: A 36-year-old businessman attempts suicide by drinking weedkiller after he allegedly strangled his ex-girlfriend who had told him she was engaged to another man.
Man falls to death
JOHOR BARU: A man in his 40s fell to his death from a five-storey car park at Plaza Angsana yesterday.
Johor Baru North police chief Assistant Commissioner Ruslan Hassan said initial investigations revealed there was no foul play in the 3.30pm incident.
He said the man's body was sent to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital for a post-mortem.
A maintenance worker, who only wanted to be identified as Don, said he heard a loud thump.
Thinking it was the irresponsible act of somebody dumping rubbish, he went to look for the culprit, only to find the body of a man sprawled near the loading bay of the shopping centre.
A shopper, who declined to be identified and who was visibly in a state of shock, said she saw the victim making his way to the top floor of the parking bay.
Those between the ages of 21 and 40 made up the biggest group in the 21,507 who contacted Befrienders KL and about 60% of them were women.
Their problems included that of relationships (24%), psychiatric (19%), family (13%), social (8%), job (7%), sexual (7%), marital (7%) and others (15%).
Befrienders KL head L. Mary Raj said those who suffer from depression and suicidal tendencies should not be stigmatised as weak.
Mary said that depression was not something that people chose to have, as there were many causes of depression, both clinical and psychological.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre psychiatrist Prof Dr T. Maniam said stigma related to mental illnesses prevented people from seeking help and this had to be addressed.
“People also have to talk more openly about it and public education has to be intensified to demystify mental health issues,” he said.
Dr Maniam, who is also national representative to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, said the nation’s suicide rate was under-reported and it was estimated that the current prevalence of suicide is six to 10 people per 100,000 population.
He said society was rapidly changing and had placed more demands on people resulting in stress related issues, physical or mental illnesses and drug or alcohol addiction.
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.
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.
The ministry's deputy director-general for public health Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman reminded the media not to sensationalise cases of suicide as it could lead to "copycat" cases.
Other than introducing the National Strategic and Action Plan for Suicide Prevention last year, Dr Lokman added that a guideline on media reporting on suicide has been developed to educate the media on responsible suicide reporting.
Dr Lokman said the main factors that contributed to suicide were significant life events such as financial, relationship, employment and psychiatric problems.
Befrienders Kuala Lumpur can be contacted at 03-7956 8145/8144 or email@example.com.
In Malaysia, for instance, the Chinese community tops the suicide list and coming at a close second are Indians.
According to a research conducted by the Forensic Pathology Unit in Universiti Malaya, incidents of suicides were very prevalent among the Chinese young, with the highest number of cases reported in the 21-30 year age category.
The Chinese comprise 22.9% of Malaysia’s 28.3 million population.
The study also noted that the most common form of suicide adopted by the Chinese was “jumping” off high buildings.
Other common methods adopted by the Indian and Malay were suicide by poisoning and hanging.
While Indians opted for poison as a means to end their lives, few Malays chose suicide.
According to the study, Malays, who comprise some 68% of the population, recorded the lowest rate of suicide.
The survey was based on 251 suicides – 164 males and 87 females – with victims falling in the 15 to 80 years group.
The survey noted that in Malaysia methods of suicide also depended on the environment, availability of suicidal materials, nature of job, and other personal beliefs.
For instance, the workers in the plantation sector in Malaysia often resorted to ingestion of agro-chemicals such as paraquat because of its free availability.
Social values and religion
According to various studies, religion also appeared to be one of the important factors that control the rate of suicides.
Islam forbids suicide and the social support system within the community is strong and able to look after those who have problems.
Studies noted, too, that Hindus and Buddhists believe in rebirth and both religions do not have strong sanctions against suicide.
For many of the Chinese, research showed that their achievement-oriented upbringing and the importance placed on family interests played a big role in suicides.
Pressure to do well starts at a very young age. Hence, the Chinese youth face enormous pressure and stress early in life which invariably lead to anxiety, depression and even suicide in the event of failure to achieve the expected target.
According to psychologist Johana Johari, suicide among races boils down to their belief system, their mental and emotional resilience and whether they see death as the easiest way out of their predicament.
“We want to look at suicidal thoughts that causes suicidal behaviours.
“Drug abuse such as mixing a cocktail social drug with alcohol can alter the chemical balance in the brain, bringing about the onset of mental disorders such as bipolar, schizophrenia. Depression and despair are also causes to be considered,” she opined.
More men commit suicide
Another interesting fact from the study is that suicide incidents were higher among men.
Johana said there were various reasons for this.
“Men don’t confide in friends or families regarding their problems. It is not the male social culture to ‘talk’ about their problems in general.
“Men generally feel a much bigger burden of responsibility to excel in life, to provide well, to serve and protect their loved ones.
“When they feel they are failing to do so and experience a loss of control over their lives and circumstances, they are prone to fall into a much deeper depression as opposed to women.
“Mental disorder, unemployment, loneliness, lack of social skills, lack of self-confidence, anxiety, loss [love, property, wealth, job, grief, divorce], chronic illness, homelessness, and extreme financial burden are just some of the causes,” she said.
Meanwhile, the National Suicide Registry Malaysia (NSRM) has also concurred with the findings of the Forensic Pathology Unit.
According to their statistics for the period July-December 2007, of the 113 suicide cases reported, 82 cases involved men. Forty-one of these men were married.
Crisis with ‘other half’
NSRM principal investigator Dr Nor Hayati Ali said the commonest life event which preceded the suicidal act was a crisis with their “other half”.
Other problems like financial, legal and job-related issues also came into the picture.
She said the findings also showed that men were more resolute when it came to committing suicide.
“However, this trend needs a deeper analysis and needs to be observed for a longer term. Our maiden report covered only a six-month period,” she said in an e-mail to FMT.
Nor Hayati said data for the NSRM’s 2007 report was compiled via a coordinated effort involving forensic departments in the Health Ministry’s hospitals and this would be gradually expanded to include teaching hospitals, which are hospitals under the Education Ministry.
She said that out of the 113 NSRM-documented cases, 95 of them (or 87%) were Malaysians, while the others were foreigner nationals.
Among the Malaysians, Chinese accounted for the most number of cases at 43%, followed by Indians (27%) and Malays at (11%).
She reminded that these figures were “absolute numbers” and not as accurate as “suicide rates”.
GENEVA - One person commits suicide every 40 seconds — more than all the yearly victims of wars and natural disaster — with the highest toll among the elderly, the United Nations said Thursday.
In its first report on suicide, the UN’s World Health Organisation blamed intense media coverage when celebrities kill themselves for fuelling the problem.
“Suicide is an amazing public health problem. There is one suicide every 40 seconds — it is a huge number,” said Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO’s mental health department, at the presentation of the report in Geneva.
“Suicide kills more than conflicts, wars and natural catastrophes,” he said. “There are 1.5 million violent deaths every year in the world, of which 800,000 are suicides.”
Some of the highest rates of suicide are found in central and eastern Europe and in Asia, with 25 percent occurring in rich countries, the report says.
Men are almost twice as likely as women to take their own lives. Common methods are hanging, gunshots, and especially in rural areas the use of poisonous insecticides.
Don’t glamourise suicide
Alexandra Fleischmann, one of the report’s co-authors, said part of the blame lies with the publicity given to suicides by famous people, such as Hollywood actor Robin Williams.
The Oscar-winning star, who had suffered from depression, was found dead at his home on August 1, prompting an outpouring of emotion from the public and widespread media coverage.
“These overwhelming reports can have a contagion effect on vulnerable people,” she said, referring also to the “sharp increase” in suicides after German football player Robert Enke killed himself in 2009.
“Suicide should not be glamorised or sensationalised,” Fleischmann said, urging news outlets not to mention suicide as the cause of death at the start of reports, but only at the end, “with a mention of where (the reader) can find help.”
WHO, which called suicide a major public health problem that must be confronted and stemmed, studied 172 countries to produce the report, which took a decade to research.
It said that in 2012 high-income countries had a slightly higher suicide rate — 12.7 per 100,000 people, versus 11.2 in low- and middle-income nations.
But given the latter category’s far higher population, they accounted for three-quarters of the global total. Southeast Asia, including North Korea, India, Indonesia and Nepal, made up over a third of the annual figure.
WHO cautioned that suicide figures are often incomplete, with many countries failing to keep proper tallies. In addition, “there are many suicide attempts for each death,” WHO chief Margaret Chan said.
“The impact on families, friends and communities is devastating and far-reaching, even long after persons dear to them have taken their own lives,” she added.
Suicide and attempted suicide are considered a crime in 25 countries, mostly in Africa, in South America and in Asia.
The most suicide-prone countries were Guyana (44.2 per 100,000), followed by North and South Korea (38.5 and 28.9 respectively).
Next came Sri Lanka (28.8), Lithuania (28.2), Suriname (27.8), Mozambique (27.4), Nepal and Tanzania (24.9 each), Burundi (23.1), India (21.1), and South Sudan (19.8).
Next were Russia and Uganda (both with 19.5), Hungary (19.1), Japan (18.5), and Belarus (18.3). The UN agency said its goal is to cut national suicide rates by 10 percent by 2020.
A major challenge, it said, is that suicide victims are often from marginalised groups of the population, many of them poor and vulnerable. However, “suicides are preventable,” Chan said, reports Astro Awani.
Read more: http://www.kualalumpurpost.net/who-one-person-commits-suicide-every-40-seconds/#ixzz3DkaBY5Yf
People shouldn’t avoid the sun based on the study’s findings, says its senior author. Instead, they may consider adding sunshine to the list of factors that may influence the risk of suicide.
“Suicide is complicated and has many risk factors,” said Dr. Matthaeus Willeit from the University of Vienna.
“People always tend to think of it in either biological or social terms, but there is no single cause,” he said. “It’s a bunch of risk factors that you have. That is just one of many risk factors.”
Researchers have studied seasonal variations among suicides for centuries, with rates peaking in the spring. The actual effect of sunshine on those rates is less known, though. Along with changes in sunlight, new seasons bring temperature changes and a number of other factors that may influence suicide risk, such as holidays.
For the new study, the researchers used information on 69,462 suicides that occurred in Austria between January 1970 and May 2010. That data was then matched to data collected from 86 weather stations that recorded the hours of sunshine per day.
The researchers found a correlation between the number of suicides per day and the amount of sunshine throughout the study.
The researchers suggest that sunlight may increase the risk of suicide over a short period but actually protect against it over a longer period of time. They can’t definitively say sunlight causes or prevents suicides, however.
It could be that sunlight affects serotonin in the body, they say. Serotonin then may influence impulsivity, mood and aggression, which can play a role in suicidal behavior.
Sunlight may act like antidepressant medications that affect impulsivity first and then mood later on. The early affect on impulsivity may explain the increased suicide risk over a short period of time, and the delayed affect on mood may explain the lower risk over a longer time span.
“Light has an influence on serotonin and serotonin has an influence on mood and suicidality,” Willeit said. “That’s probably one of the biological links.”
Alternatively, he and his colleagues write in JAMA Psychiatry, the early increased risk of suicide after sun exposure may lead to those most at risk to take their own lives. Fewer of the most at-risk people would then be susceptible to sun exposure later on.
As for right now, Willeit said that the study can’t instruct doctors what to tell their patients based on weather reports.
“In the long term it would be great to know whose risk really increases with light,” he said, reports Reuters.
Read more: http://www.kualalumpurpost.net/sunshine-tied-to-suicide-risk/#ixzz3DkaUknai
Suicide is a tragedy that occurs in all times and places. However, suicide rates vary around the world, so we made a map showing these differences.
For most of the countries shown in the map below, suicide rate data comes from the World Health Organization. The WHO’s mortality database is based on reports from governmental agencies from different countries. Most of the WHO data thus comes from more developed countries.
For developing countries, numerous political, cultural, and religious hurdles make getting accurate information on suicide much more difficult.
We were able to find estimates for suicide rates for China and India, not contained in the WHO data set. A widely referenced 2011 AFP article reported a rate for China of about 22.2 deaths per 100,000 people, and a survey published in the Lancet in 2012 estimated a rate of about 22.0 deaths per 100,000 people in India.
Suicides are most prominent in Asia and Eastern Europe. Lithuania has the highest suicide rate among the countries for which we have data, with 28.6 suicide deaths per 100,000 people, followed closely by South Korea with 26.3 deaths per 100,000 people.
Here’s the map:
To measure changes in the prevalence of suicide over time, the CDC calculates the country’s suicide rate each year. The suicide rate expresses the number of suicide deaths that occur for every 100,000 people in the population for which the rate is reported.
Over the 20-year period from 1990 to 2010, suicide rates in the U.S. dropped, and then rose again (Figure 2). Between 1990 and 2000, the suicide rate decreased from 12.5 suicide deaths to 10.4 per 100,000 people in the population. Over the next 10 years, however, the rate generally increased and by 2011 stood at 12.3 deaths per 100,000.
Research suggests that many other variables also affect suicide rates, such as socioeconomic status, employment, occupation, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Although individual states collect data on some of these characteristics, they are not included in national reports issued by the CDC.
Suicide Rates by AgeIn 2011, the highest suicide rate (18.6) was among people 45 to 64 years old. The second highest rate (16.9) occurred in those 85 years and older. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2011, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 11.0 (Figure 3).
Suicide Rates by SexFor many years, the suicide rate has been about 4 times higher among men than among women (Figure 4). In 2011, men had a suicide rate of 20.2, and women had a rate of 5.4. Of those who died by suicide in 2011, 78.5% were male and 21.5% were female.
Suicide Rates by Race/EthnicityIn 2011, the highest U.S. suicide rate (14.5) was among Whites and the second highest rate (10.6) was among American Indians and Alaska Natives (Figure 5). Much lower and roughly similar rates were found among Asians and Pacific Islanders (5.9), Blacks (5.3) and Hispanics (5.2).
Note that the CDC records Hispanic origin separately from the primary racial or ethnic groups of White, Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, and Asian or Pacific Islander, since individuals in all of these groups may also be Hispanic.
Suicide Rates by Geographic Region/StateIn 2010, suicide rates were highest in the West (13.6), followed by the South (12.6), the Midwest (12.0) and the Northeast (9.3). Six U.S. states, all in the West, had age-adjusted suicide rates in excess of 18: Wyoming (23.2), Alaska (23.1), Montana (22.9), Nevada (20.3), New Mexico (20.1) and Idaho (18.5). Four locales had age-adjusted suicide rates lower than 9 per 100,000: New York (8.0) and New Jersey (8.2) in the Northeast, and Maryland (8.7) and the District of Columbia (6.8), in the Southeast (Figure 6).
In 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, 483,596 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm behavior, suggesting that approximately 12 people harm themselves (not necessarily intending to take their lives) for every reported death by suicide. Together, those harming themselves made an estimated total of more than 650,000 hospital visits related to injuries sustained in one or more separate incidents of self-harm behavior.
Because of the way these data are collected, we are not able to distinguish intentional suicide attempts from non-intentional self-harm behaviors. But we know that many suicide attempts go unreported or untreated, and surveys suggest that at least one million people in the U.S. each year engage in intentionally inflicted self-harm.
As with suicide deaths, rates of attempted suicide vary considerably among demographic groups. While males are 4 times more likely than females to die by suicide, females attempt suicide 3 times as often as males. The ratio of suicide attempts to suicide death in youth is estimated to be about 25:1, compared to a about 4:1 in the elderly.
Economic Impact of Suicide AttemptsNon-fatal injuries due to self-harm cost an estimated $3 billion annually for medical care. Another $5 billion is spent for indirect costs, such as lost wages and productivity.
International Suicide Statistics
- Over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year.
- The global suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 population.
- On average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world.
- 1.8% of worldwide deaths are suicides.
- Global suicide rates have increased 60% in the past 45 years.
Data Source: World Health Organization
International Suicide Rates
(per 100,000 population/per year)
Rank Country Males Females Total Year 1 Lithuania 70.1 14.0 40.2 2004 2 Belarus 63.3 10.3 35.1 2003 3 Russia 61.6 10.7 34.3 2004 4 Kazakhstan 51.0 8.9 29.2 2003 5 Hungary 44.9 12.0 27.7 2003 6 Guyana 42.5 12.1 27.2 2003 7 Slovenia 37.9 13.9 25.6 2004 8 Latvia 42.9 8.5 24.3 2004 9 Japan 35.6 12.8 24.0 2004 10 South Korea 32.5 15.0 23.8 2004 11 Ukraine 43.0 7.3 23.8 2004 12 People's Republic of China
(selected rural areas)
20.4 24.7 22.5 1999 13 Sri Lanka N/A N/A 21.6 1996 14 Belgium 31.2 11.4 21.1 1997 15 Estonia 35.5 7.3 20.3 2005 16 Finland 31.7 9.4 20.3 2004 17 Croatia 30.2 9.8 19.6 2004 - Serbia and Montenegro 28.8 10.4 19.3 2002 - Hong Kong 25.2 12.4 18.6 2004 18 France 27.5 9.1 18.0 2003 19 Switzerland 23.7 11.3 17.4 2004 20 Austria 26.1 8.2 16.9 2005 21 Moldova 29.3 5.2 16.7 2004 22 Poland 27.9 4.6 15.9 2004 23 Czech Republic 25.9 5.7 15.5 2004 24 Uruguay 24.5 6.4 15.1 2001 25 Luxembourg 21.9 7.4 14.6 2004 26 People's Republic of China (selected rural and urban areas) 13.0 14.8 13.9 1999 27 Denmark 19.2 8.1 13.6 2001 28 Cuba 20.3 6.6 13.5 2004 29 Slovakia 23.6 3.6 13.3 2002 30 Seychelles N/A N/Ay 13.2 1998 31 Sweden 19.5 7.1 13.2 2002 32 Bulgaria 19.7 6.7 13.0 2004 33 Germany 19.7 6.6 13.0 2004 34 Trinidad and Tobago 20.9 4.9 12.8 2000 35 Romania 21.5 4.0 12.5 2004 36 Suriname 17.8 6.4 12.1 2000 37 Iceland 17.7 6.2 12.0 2004 38 New Zealand 19.8 4.2 11.9 2000 39 Bosnia and Herzegovina 20.3 3.3 11.8 1991 40 Canada 18.3 5.0 11.6 2002 41 Norway 15.8 7.3 11.5 2004 42 Portugal 17.5 4.9 11.0 2003 43 United States 17.9 4.2 11.0 2002 44 Australia 17.1 4.7 10.8 2003 45 India 12.8 8.0 10.5 2002 46 Chile 17.8 3.1 10.4 2003 47 Singapore 12.5 7.6 10.1 2003 48 Ireland 16.3 3.2 9.7 2005 49 Netherlands 12.7 6.0 9.3 2004 50 Kyrgyzstan 15.0 3.0 8.9 2004 51 Argentina 14.1 3.5 8.7 2003 52 Turkmenistan 13.8 3.5 8.6 1998 53 Spain 12.6 3.9 8.2 2004 54 El Salvador 12.2 4.2 8.1 2003 55 Mauritius 12.7 3.6 8.1 2004 56 Zimbabwe 10.6 5.2 7.9 1990 57 Thailand 12.0 3.8 7.8 2002 58 Saint Lucia 10.4 5.0 7.7 2002 59 Belize 13.4 1.6 7.6 2001 60 Nicaragua 11.0 3.7 7.3 2003 61 Italy 11.4 3.1 7.1 2002 62 United Kingdom 10.8 3.3 7.0 2004 63 Costa Rica 12.1 1.6 6.9 2004 64 Republic of Macedonia 9.5 4.0 6.8 2003 65 People's Republic of China 6.7 6.6 6.7 1999 66 Panama 11.1 1.4 6.3 2003 67 Israel 10.4 2.1 6.2 2003 - Puerto Rico 10.9 1.8 6.2 2002 68 Ecuador 8.6 3.7 6.1 2004 69 Malta 7.0 4.9 6.0 2004 70 Uzbekistan 8.1 3.0 5.5 2003 71 Colombia 8.2 2.4 5.3 1999 72 Venezuela 8.4 1.8 5.1 2002 73 Brazil 6.8 1.9 4.3 2002 74 Albania 4.7 3.3 4.0 2003 75 Mexico 6.7 1.3 4.0 2003 76 The Bahamas 6.0 1.3 3.6 2000 77 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6.8 0.0 3.4 2003 78 Greece 5.2 1.2 3.2 2004 79 Bahrain 4.9 0.5 3.1 1988 80 Paraguay 4.5 1.6 3.1 2003 81 Tajikistan 2.9 2.3 2.6 2001 82 Georgia 3.4 1.1 2.2 2001 83 Guatemala 3.4 0.9 2.1 2003 84 Philippines 2.5 1.7 2.1 1993 85 Kuwait 2.5 1.4 2.0 2002 86 Armenia 3.2 0.5 1.8 2003 87 Dominican Republic 2.9 0.6 1.8 2001 88 Azerbaijan 1.8 0.5 1.1 2002 89 Peru 1.1 0.6 0.9 2000 90 São Tomé and Príncipe 0.0 1.8 0.9 1987 91 Barbados 1.4 0.0 0.7 2001 92 Iran 0.3 0.1 0.2 1991 93 Jamaica 0.3 0.0 0.1 1990 94 Syria 0.2 0.0 0.1 1985 95 Antigua and Barbuda 0.0 0.0 0.0 1995 96 Egypt 0.1 0.0 0.0 1987 97 Haiti 0.0 0.0 0.0 2003 98 Honduras 0.0 0.0 0.0 1978 99 Jordan 0.0 0.0 0.0 1979 100 Saint Kitts and Nevis 0.0 0.0 0.0 1995
|10||Cote d Ivoire||21.5||74||Eritrea||9.5||138||Micronesia||4.7|
|38||Bangladesh||13.5||102||Saint Vincent||6.8||166||Cook Islands||3.3|
|54||Trinidad/Tob.||11.1||118||Saudi Arabia||5.9||182||Arab Emirates||1.3|
|55||New Zealand||11.1||119||Cape Verde||5.9||183||Haiti||1.3|
|62||El Salvador||10.5||126||Samoa||5.1||190||Saint Kitts||0.6|
|63||United States||10.3||127||Dominican Rep.||5.1||191||Syria||0.5|
The suicide map of the world: Korea, Russia and India see the most citizens kill themselves - while America is 'average'
- Poor and middle-income countries rank the worst in the study
- But some developed nations are worse than others--rates in Britain and Germany worse than much of Europe, US and Australia
- Guyana has the highest rate of suicide, at 44.2 out of every 100,000, with North and South Korea the second and third worst
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2743457/WHO-calls-action-reduce-global-suicide-rate-800-000-year.html#ixzz3DkdLrkZ3
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When Celina woke up to find herself in hospital again, she sighed, partly with relief and partly with frustration. Her head throbbed and her stomach still feels bloated and uncomfortable. The bottle of sleeping pills she swallowed had failed her and she overwhelmed by emotions as she screams "Why? Why? Why?"
Why did they save her? Why can't she leave her problem behind? Why does all these have to happen to her? Why can’t anyone help relieve the deep pain and emptiness she feel inside?
What Celina doesn't know is that she is not alone.
According to Professor Mohamed Hussain Habil, the President of the Malaysian Psychiatric Association, suicide rates have increased by 60% for the past 45 years. An estimated 7 people attempt suicide daily in Malaysia, one daily in Singapore and 13 daily in Thailand.
These numbers are alarming because suicides are seen as signs of personal weaknesses and not what it really is- a mental disorder. There are also other related issues such as the stigma of mental illness, cultural and religious implications.
Says Prof. Hussain, "The focus of World Mental Health Day 2006 is on suicide prevention. We hope to be able to educate the public that any suicide attempt should be taken seriously as if it were heart disease or diabetes. If we are sensitised to recognise the early signs of distress, we will be able to stop a suicide attempt from happening."
Suicide is rarely a spur of the moment decision, says Dr Suarn Singh, Head of Psychiatry, Ministry of Health Malaysia. Usually there are clues leading to the actual attempt, such as:
These may be accompanied by erratic mood swings and behaviours, including constant crying, impulsiveness, self-mutilation and impulsiveness.
The irony is that people harbouring suicidal thoughts often find to hard to talk to anyone about their problems because they cannot pinpoint what is wrong with themselves. The loneliness adds on to the emotional pressure. They feel that they are trapped in their own world.
Who is likely to kill themselves?
During the Asia Pacific Conference on Suicide Prevention in 2003, Professor Maniam Thambu, a Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at the Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM), reported that more people die from suicides annually than homicide, wars and terrorist attacks combined.
Research shows that the tendency is higher in people:
He adds that more men than women commit suicide, possibly because the measures used are more violent. Men are also less likely to seek help with their problems as they consider it to be a sign of weakness.
"Those with mental disturbances such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or manic depressive disorders, are at highest risk, with an estimated 10 to 15 in 100 of them committing suicide, compared to 10 out of 100,000 people with no mental disease," he says.
He adds that there is also the age factor. In Malaysia, most suicide cases happen between the ages of 15- 30 and 50-75. "The younger age group face a lot of societal pressures and sometimes find it hard to cope, whereas the elderly group face problems of loneliness, depression and ageing," he explains.
The most common suicide methods are hanging, followed by jumping off buildings and exhaust gas poisoning and pesticide poisoning.
New trends in suicide cases
Experts in suicide studies have voiced concern for the increasing number of websites and internet chat rooms dedicated to suicide. These sites promote the act of self-destruction and the taking of one's own life, with detailed descriptions of lethal methods to use and doses of everyday medications that can kill.
"Such websites are banned in Australia and should be strictly monitored or banned globally for their harmful messages," stresses Prof. Maniam.
What can you do?
The experts agree that the crux of the issue is that suicides are preventable, as most of the risk factors are treatable.
"What's more important is recognising when someone needs help. All those little signs- cutting themselves on purpose, excessive drinking, reckless behaviours are all signs for help. Getting them to seek help will stop them from actually carrying out the act of suicide," says Dr. Singh.
He adds that there are over 240 Health Centres nationwide that have psychiatric units, where high-risk people can get themselves assessed. There are also counseling units where they can find someone to talk to if they are depressed.
Prof Hussain hopes to set up Malaysian Suicide Prevention Council which can provide information and education on mental problems, the main risk factor for suicide.
The overall impact of suicide has a ripple-like effect on the whole community. Says Dr Hussain, "Every successful suicide affects 20 other people- family members, friends or fellow colleagues. Often these people would feel guilty for not realising that their friend or family member was trying to reach out to them."
Common myths about suicide:
1) People who talk about suicide won't do it
2) People who commit suicide are unwilling to seek help
3) If someone wants to kill himself, nothing can stop him
4} Discussing suicide will give someone the idea of doing it
5) Suicide indicates a lack of religious faith
6) It only happens to others, not myself or someone I know
Don't despair, help is available!
The Befrienders Kuala Lumpur
95 Jalan Templer
46000 Selangor Darul Ehson
Helpline 1: (03) 7956 8144
Helpline 2: (03) 7956 8145
Website: www.befrienders.org.my Email Helpline: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lifeline Association of Malaysia
71-2nd Floor, Jln Jejaka 2
55100 Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur.
Helpline 1: (603) 92850039
Helpline 2: (603) 92850279
Helpline 3: (603) 92850049
This article is first published in Urbanhealth magazine, November 2006, Vol 23.
Ikram Ismail, MM
Young Malaysians between the ages of 20 and 39 formed the largest segment of those infected with HIV over a five-year period.
That is pretty much general knowledge, but the most alarming piece of statistic is the dramatic jump in the number of students contracting HIV.
The total number of new cases of Malaysians infected with HIV and AIDS had held steady over the five years since 2008.
The number of cases in 2008 was 4,633, while in 2012, the figure was 4,799.
The number of deaths from HIV and AIDS over the period, however, declined from 1,050 in 2008 to 702 in 2012.
In 2008, only 28 students contracted HIV and seven contracted AIDS.
That figure rose to 35 and six in 2009, 44 and eight in 2010 and 69 and 15 in 2011.
But in 2012, a startling 170 students contracted HIV while 16 contracted AIDS.
The number of students contracting HIV that year saw an explosion of 148 per cent — from 69 to 170.
In contrast, the increase of new HIV cases from 2008 to 2010 was at a steady 25 per cent.
These figures are striking compared to those from the period between 1986 to 2007.
Over the earlier 22-year period, only 205 students had been found to be HIV positive, while only 48 were found to be suffering from AIDS.
Over the 2008 to 2012 period, 35 students died from either HIV or AIDS.
The ministry was not forthcoming in outlining the details, but it is believed that the majority of students newly-diagnosed as HIV infected were college and university students.
Malaysia Aids Council Executive Director Roswati Ghani said they are deeply concerned by the growing number of new HIV infections among students.
“What’s also alarming is the proportion of new HIV cases reported in the younger age group of 13-29 years, to the overall population (1 to 4 in 2012),” she said.
“We are also cognizant of this situation; and that the HIV epidemic in this country continues to be driven by sexual transmission since beginning 2010.”
She encouraged students, especially those who engage in high-risk behaviours, to get tested regularly and be aware of their HIV status.
“To address the rising number of new HIV infections among students, the management of universities and colleges must also make accurate HIV information accessible to their students,” she said.
“They should formalise HIV education in the curriculum and provide counselling services that are evidence-based while, at the same time, respecting the students’ sensitivities and rights.”
The health ministry, upon learning of a student diagnosed as HIV positive or having AIDS, will set in motion a chain of actions.
The amount spent in response to HIV and AIDS, such as on antiretroviral therapy and treatment, medicines and campaigns, since 1993 has reached RM1.23 billion.
Males still make up the majority of new HIV cases, but the number of women with positive status of HIV has been increasing. Female represented 9.5% of all new cases in 2000, 10.8% in 2004 and 19.1% in 2008.
Effective means to curb transmissions notwithstanding, the prevalence of the virus among men who have sex with men (MSM) is rising in almost all nations, with incidence levels unwaveringly stable. (Prevalence refers to the total number of people infected with the virus and incidence refers to the number of new HIV infections each year.) According to Fenton, controlling the epidemic in MSM will require optimizing testing programs for this population, although this effort will pose a significant challenge.
In low-income countries, MSM have an estimated eight-fold higher HIV prevalence rate compared with the general population, and MSM in high-income nations have 23 times the prevalence rate of the general population. There is apparently no country in the world where the HIV prevalence rate among MSM is lower than that of the population at large.
Part of the explanation for the disparity is biological. Anal sex is an estimated 18 times more efficient at transmitting HIV than vaginal intercourse.
The high prevalence of HIV in a “sexual network” also plays into the high prevalence rates among MSM. With higher numbers of partners and a more overlapping and interconnected network of partners, there are greater connections through which the virus can spread.
Psychosocial matters also contribute to high infection rates, including depression, anxiety, substance use, racism, childhood sexual abuse, familial rejection, homophobia and partner violence.
To read the aidsmap story, click here.
To read the report, click here