SINGAPORE: A distressing incident unfolded on the evening of Wednesday (4 Oct), at Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2, Block 5022.
Members of the public witnessed a woman in white climb over the fourth-floor parapet, teetering on a small ledge.
After an intense hour-and-a-half standoff with Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) personnel, she was thankfully rescued.
As reported by Shin Min Daily News, this incident took place around 6:00 PM on that Wednesday evening.
A video viewed by the media portrayed the woman in white sitting on the small ledge of the fourth-floor building wall, intermittently sobbing, covering her ears, and wiping tears away with her sleeve.
A police officer stood in the corridor behind her, making efforts to persuade her not to jump.
Several SCDF personnel were stationed on the third floor, with others quickly setting up a safety air cushion on the ground below.
After approximately one-and-a-half hours on the perilous edge, the woman was assisted back up to the fourth floor by the police officers.
Upon questioning, the police revealed that a 25-year-old woman had been perched on the wall of a public corridor.
Following an evaluation, it was determined that the woman posed a danger to herself.
As a result, the police deployed a crisis negotiation team, and SCDF personnel were summoned to provide support.
Following her rescue, the woman was apprehended under the mental health ordinance and fortunately did not suffer any injuries.
Rising suicide figures
According to the suicide prevention charity Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), between April 2022 and February 2023, they successfully intervened and saved an average of one person from the immediate risk of suicide every three days, totalling 114 individuals.
Out of these cases, 69% involved females who were either on the brink of attempting suicide or in the act of attempting it. Furthermore, 44% of these individuals fell within the age range of 20 to 29, while 38% were aged 10 to 19.
An alarming 42% of suicide attempts were related to jumping.
Singapore reported a concerning 476 cases of suicide last year, marking the highest number in over two decades.
The SOS reported a 25.9% increase from the previous year, with a significant rise among the youth and the elderly.
SOS highlighted that family issues, employment and financial struggles, as well as romantic relationship problems, were the most frequently cited concerns among individuals seeking assistance through SOS services.
This month in September, there was at least one case reported where a 26-year-old woman was discovered lifeless at the base of a condominium building on Bayshore Road. A resident witnessed her alleged fall from the 25th floor.
Additionally, three more cases were reported in August.
In one of these cases, a neighbor saw a 36-year-old man fall from the 14th floor of Block 516 Jurong West Street 52 on 25 August. Tragically, the man was declared dead upon reaching the ground.
On 27 August, the police found the body of a 24-year-old man in the waters near Keppel Bay, with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) later confirming his death. Just a week earlier, the body of a 50-year-old man was retrieved from the same area on 19 August.
Individuals aged 10 to 29 accounted for more than a quarter of the cases, making suicide the leading cause of death in this age group.
Furthermore, individuals aged 70 to 79 witnessed a staggering 60% increase in suicide deaths compared to the previous year.
The top three issues that elderly people sought help for were medical problems, family difficulties and loneliness, said SOS.
SOS received 57,000 phone calls seeking help last year, a 7% increase from the previous year, while its CareText 24-hours messaging service via WhatsApp received 22,000 text messages, more than double compared to the previous year.
The pressing need for more volunteers and community engagement in suicide prevention has never been more critical.
Where to get help:
If you or someone you know is grappling with suicidal thoughts, assistance and support are accessible.
Samaritans of Singapore Hotline: 1767
Institute of Mental Health’s Helpline: 6389 2222
Singapore Association for Mental Health Helpline: 1800 283 7019
You can discover a directory of global helplines on this page.
In case someone you are aware of is facing an imminent threat, please dial 24-hour emergency services.
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