SINGAPORE: The number of attempted suicides increased from 1,009 in 2011 to 1,090 in 2012.
This is an increase from 19.5 per 100,000 total population to 20.5.
Meanwhile, the number of deaths arising from suicide rose from 8.1 per 100,000 population in 2011 to 10.3 in 2012.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong revealed these statistics in a written answer to Nominated MPs Laurence Lien and Faizah Jamal who asked about suicide rates in Singapore.
Mr Gan also added that year to year fluctuations may not be representative of longer-term trends.
He added that a local study based on Singapore's suicide statistics from 2000-2004 had reported that relationship problems were associated with one-third of all suicides.
A further one-third of suicides were associated with financial or employment issues.
Mr Gan stressed that collaborative efforts among different ministries are in place to help prevent suicide.
The broad approaches involve building greater resilience in the population, developing targetted interventions for high-risk individuals and increasing public awareness of mental health issues.
The Health Promotion Board also has a peer support training programme which trains selected tertiary students on mental health issues including suicide prevention and equips them with peer support skills to reach out to their fellow schoolmates in need.
For the elderly, social support is a key element in the prevention of suicides, and this is provided through community services such as active ageing programmes and wellness centres managed by the People's Association that encourage socialisation and promote an active lifestyle.
There are a variety of professional services to support persons who are at risk.
Family Service Centres (FSCs) provide professional intervention and support to help families and individuals resolve their social and emotional difficulties and to regain stability and independence. - CNA/fa
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