Repeated lockdowns in Malaysia are taking an increasing toll not only on people's financial well-being but also on their mental health. The country has reported record numbers of suicides – across all age groups - in the first quarter of this year. Police recorded 468 suicides in the first five months of 2021, climbing from an annual total of 631 in 2020 and 609 in 2019.
Three main reasons for suicides were cited: troubled family relationships, emotional pressure and financial constraints. The situation is most dire among the vulnerable population – the marginalised, the abused and the traumatized. To make matters worse, the stigma of suicide keeps them from reaching out for help.
To date, suicide is being addressed in isolation within each field of expertise. There is an urgent need for all parties to come together to look at this silent pandemic as a whole.
"Suicide: The Silent Pandemic" Symposium is a first attempt at creating a safe space to talk openly about suicide. It is a multidisciplinary online symposium on suicide prevention, organised by Dignity for Children Foundation in partnership with the Malaysian Association of Social Workers (MASW) and the International Counselling Association of Malaysia (PERKAMA).
It brings together experts from various disciplines - educators, academicians, lawyers, doctors, and mental health and social work professionals – to hear and learn from each other.
Taking place on Saturday, 25th September, 2021 from 1pm - 7pm, the Symposium is open to the public. Registration fee is RM50. Discount is available for group registration from the same organisation. Registered counsellors can also opt to receive certification and two Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for attending the symposium.
For further information on speakers, the programme and how to register, please log-on to: https://silentpandemic.netlify.app/. Registration is limited to 1,000 participants on a first-come-first-served basis.
If you are concerned about the increasing number of suicides and suicide attempts in the country and want to help, register now for the “Suicide: The Silent Pandemic” symposium. Talking helps.