COPING WITH SUICIDE: RISK FACTORS IN YOUTHS
Tay-Koay, S. L., National Technology University and Matthews, M. E. K., Samaritans of Singapore, Singapore
This study was designed to identify the key problems faced by youths in Singapore that could lead to suicidal behaviour. Specifically, it looked at the significance of familial and social problems as risk factors for youth suicidal behaviour and whether there was a relationship between support and suicide risk. The data for this study were based on the case records of a suicide prevention hotline. The problems and support network of 387 participants were documented and analysed. Female participants outnumbered males by a ratio of 3.6 : 1 as there were 303 females and only 84 male. Young females, regardless of their ethnic background, had noticeably more problems than males. The results showed that familial and social factors were the two most common problems cited by suicidal youths; other problems included school and work, health, abuse, financial and legal issues. It appeared that the presence of support might have helped to reduce the suicide risk of distressed youths. Gender did not appear to have a significant impact on suicidal behaviour amongst the adolescents. The study highlighted the need for a comprehensive range of preventive and intervention services for youths in distress, and further local research to enhance our understanding of suicidal behaviour among our youth.