In the wake of fourteen-year-old Benjamin Lim’s suicide, the Singapore government is creating a new survey as part of suicide investigations, according to The survey will be used for cases in which the suicide involves a young person. The questionnaire’s purpose is to further identify the external factors that may contribute to a young person’s decision to commit suicide.

A Troubling Trend

Singapore has experienced a rash of young suicides throughout the past few years. On May 18, 2016, a Primary 5 boy leaped from his flat in Sengkang, falling 17 stories to his death. He was only 11 years old. The investigation uncovered that the child had failed the mid-year exams for maths and Higher Chinese. Unfortunately, the expectations set for the boy were so high that these poor results sent him into a state of depression and panic, followed by the decision to kill himself.

In 2015, 27 children between the ages of 10 and 19 killed themselves. That is the highest rate for young suicides in 15 years.

A New Survey

Not all of the young people who commit suicide express their reasons for doing so, but psychiatrists in Singapore hope to learn more about the risk factors, thanks to a new questionnaire being implemented. The survey will be given to police officers, who will use it during their interviews with the deceased young person’s family and friends, as well as with witnesses. With these carefully chosen questions, investigators hope to gain more insight into the external influences and internal stressors that prompt these young people to cut their lives short.

An Adjustment of Expectations

One psychologist in Singapore, Mr. Daniel Koh, has expressed concern about the parental demand for excellence that is so prevalent throughout Singapore’s culture. He says that parents often look at other children’s intelligence and abilities and then demand that their own child measure up to those levels. However, each child is unique. Some children learn differently, or have skills in different areas. Some simply do not test well, even if they know the material and have high intelligence.

A child’s emotional well-being can also affect his or her ability to learn. Mr. Koh says, “Especially for children lacking in confidence, these expectations come in three parts— fear, rejection, and disappointment.” Based on parents’ reactions to previous failures, children may become increasingly anxious every time they have to take a test; and the anxiety itself can prevent them from performing to the best of their ability.

A Way to Help

Do you know your child? Do you understand your child’s limits? Does your child know that he or she can come to you in a time of trouble and receive comfort and support rather than judgment? Wanting your child to succeed is natural; but placing that desire for success above your own child’s emotional and physical well-being can be dangerous.

Contact a psychiatrist in Singapore at the Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic today and receive the support and counseling that you and your child need. With time, you can strengthen the bond between the two of you and become your kid’s supporter during stressful seasons of life.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: AsiaOne, October 22, 2016