Covid-19: On average, almost four suicide cases reported to police every day in first quarter of 2021, says Dr Noor Hisham

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah quoted the police as a source, saying that 631 suicide cases were reported in 2020, while in 2019 there were 609 suicide cases reported. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah quoted the police as a source, saying that 631 suicide cases were reported in 2020, while in 2019 there were 609 suicide cases reported. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — The first quarter of 2021 ending March 31 saw 336 suicide cases reported in Malaysia, over half of the total number of suicides reported throughout last year alone.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah quoted the police as a source, saying that 631 suicide cases were reported in 2020, while in 2019 there were 609 suicide cases reported.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the mental health of every individual in the world, and the people in Malaysia is no exception to this,” he said in today’s statement.

Dr Noor Hisham added that certain individuals have a high risk of experiencing mental health problems including depression, when faced with overwhelming stress and isolation from their family and friends support network.

These symptoms include behavioural changes such as constantly looking sad or depressed, a loss of interest in routine activities, difficulty in focusing attention and doing daily chores, isolating oneself from family and friends, experiencing sleep disturbances and a loss of appetite, aggressive and abusive behaviour to one’s self and to others around them, and abusing alcohol and drugs.

He had also said that the media must be more responsible when reporting on suicides and should follow the Ministry of Health guidelines when doing so.

*If you are lonely, distressed, or having negative thoughts, Befrienders offers free and confidential support 24 hours a day. Contact Befrienders KL at 03-76272929 or 04-281 5161/1108 in Penang, or 05-547 7933/7955 in Ipoh or email [email protected]

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