Voices Of Youth

Help those who suffer silently

The report on Dec 17 (More men and boys fall prey to molesters but many choose to keep mum; ST Online) made me realise that there is so much more to what we see and know.

While there are many organisations and hotlines to support and help people facing different problems, these are all built on the assumption that those who are suffering seek help.

We should not forget those who, for whatever reason, be it fear or social stigma, dare not open up to people or seek professional help.

Their lives may seem wonderful on the outside, but they might be suffering silently and hiding a painful and dark story.

This is definitely no easy issue to tackle.

A good place to start would simply be our own surroundings.

People around us could have mentioned a concern they have, but we failed to understand the severity of what they are facing.

We need to treat their feelings more seriously, show more empathy and understanding, give them assurance and comfort, and recommend them to a professional.

We also need to fight against social stigma, as a society.

Singapore has come a long way. I hope that those suffering silently can soon be more comfortable with sharing and know that they have nothing to be ashamed of.

Even if they do not call for help, we still have to be there for them.

Yeah Shi Min, 16

Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2017, with the headline 'Help those who suffer silently'. Print Edition | Subscribe