Stigma on suicide in Malaysia

Posted on September 14, 2013

Malaysia - Sept 10 marked this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day. It aims to create awareness regarding suicide, mental health and the support groups available.

An estimate of one million people die of suicide worldwide each year. That is an average of one death by suicide every 40 seconds.

This figure far outnumbers deaths by homicide and wars combined. This does not include failed suicide attempts and unreported cases.

In Malaysia, an attempted suicide is a crime under Section 309 of the Penal Code. It carries a sentence of up to one year in prison, or a fine, or both. Despite experts calling for the repeal or decriminalisation of suicide attempts, this law is still in effect.

The number of suicides is rising in Malaysia. Due to suicide being considered a sin in all major religions, it is understandable why suicide is such a taboo subject, and thus go unreported.

Yet psychiatric help is lacking in our country. Currently there are only 224 psychiatrists in the ministry. However, psychiatrists mainly deal with treating the patient’s mental illness with medication, and do not place necessary emphasis on therapy and rehabilitation.

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Category(s):Suicide Prevention

Source material from Free Malaysia Today