Forum: Have a 3-digit hotline for mental health emergencies

A posed photo of a person with depression.
A posed photo of a person with depression.PHOTO: ST FILE

Much has been published in the media about mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

The suicide rate in Singapore has been rising. Each life lost to suicide leaves behind family and friends who struggle to cope with grief and loss, as well as guilt.

Thoughts of suicide may afflict anyone, the young and the old, the person next door and even K-pop celebrities. While family and friends usually form the core of one's support system, a desperate person may also turn to a stranger on a suicide helpline.

While many might have heard of the SOS hotline - 1800-221 4444 - its number is not well known or easy to remember, like 999 or 995.

Perhaps it is time to consider a three-digit hotline for mental health emergencies.

Peh Xin Yi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2019, with the headline 'Have a 3-digit hotline for mental health emergencies'. Print Edition | Subscribe