SINGAPORE: Singapore was ranked as the country with the highest suicide rate across Southeast Asia, according to a new index. Beyond this region, Singapore is listed as the 54th country with the highest suicide rates around the world.

The index was published by CEOWORLD Magazine back in January this year but has found renewed interest in social media and messaging platforms, recently.

The index ranks countries based on their suicide rates (number of suicides per 100,000 people). Singapore holds the highest position in Southeast Asia, with a suicide rate of 11.2 per 100,000 people.

The Philippines reportedly has the lowest suicide rate in Southeast Asia, ranking 174th worldwide. Across Southeast Asia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Laos round out the top 5, followed by Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Myanmar, Brunei and Indonesia, ahead of the Philippines.

Instagram page Seasia.stats compiled the list of Southeast Asian nations according to their suicide rates, in a post published on Thursday (6 June).

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Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) revealed less than a year ago that there has been a concerning increase of 25.9 per cent in suicide deaths in 2022 compared to 2021, with a total of 476 suicides reported in 2022. This marks the highest recorded suicide deaths in the country since 2000.

SOS, a non-profit organization dedicated to crisis intervention and suicide prevention, also revealed an alarming rise in suicide rates among youths and the elderly.

Suicide remained the leading cause of death for individuals aged 10 to 29, making up 38.7 per cent of all deaths within this age group for the fourth consecutive year. In 2022, there was an 11.6 per cent increase in suicide deaths among youths, rising from 112 to 125.

Additionally, individuals aged 70 to 79 experienced a staggering 60 per cent increase in suicide deaths compared to the previous year, rising from 30 to 48.

These numbers underscore the urgent need for increased attention and support for the mental well-being of both young and elderly Singaporeans.

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SOS also reported a 27 per cent increase in the use of its services, including the 24-hour Hotline and CareText, compared to the previous year, highlighting a growing demand for crisis intervention and support.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to one of the following helplines for immediate assistance:

Samaritans of Singapore: 1-767 (24-hour hotline) or 9151 1767 (24-hour CareText via WhatsApp)
Singapore Association of Mental Health: 1800 283 7019
Emergency helpline of the Institute of Mental Health: 6389 2222 (24-hour hotline)