The number of suicides in the first seven months of this year has more than doubled from the corresponding period last year.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this in a statement recently, partially attributing the drastic increase to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, the police reported 638 suicide cases as of July this year - which is more than double the 262 cases reported during the same period last year.

Suicides so far this year also outnumber cases reported throughout last year and 2019, at 631 and 609, respectively, said Free Malaysia Today (FMT).

Noor Hisham noted that the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown are factors in the worrying statistics, in the sense that it causes loss of employment or source of income, and isolation from family and friends.

He further urged the public to be aware of people around them, including family members, displaying possible signs of depression that may lead to suicide.

If you have suicidal tendencies, or know someone who has, you can contact the hotline numbers below:

Mental Health Psychosocial Support Service (MHPSS): 03-29359935 or 014-3223392
Talian Kasih: 15999, or WhatsApp 019-2615999
Jakim’s Family, Social and Community care centre: WhatsApp 0111-9598214
Befrienders Kuala Lumpur: 03-76272929

Source: FMT
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