How to help a loved one who has suicidal thoughts: Spot the warning signs, reach out, listen and show support
This Honeycombers article discusses suicide prevention and how to support a loved one who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. It starts by acknowledging that many people face extreme stress and depression, which can lead to suicidal ideation. A survey of Singaporeans revealed that a significant number had considered suicide. However, the article emphasizes that suicide is preventable, and offers guidance from two experts, Dr. Joseph Leong and Dr. Adrian Loh, both senior consultant psychiatrists at Promises Healthcare. The experts share warning signs of suicidal thoughts, common causes of suicide in different age groups, and practical ways to offer support and empathy to those in need.
To read the full article, follow this link: https://thehoneycombers.com/singapore/promises-healthcare-suicide-prevention/
In this CNA article written by Koh Wan Ting, she shares that in recent years, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and other animal welfare groups have witnessed a disturbing rise in cases of animal abuse. From heart-wrenching instances of pets subjected to extreme cruelty to wildlife suffering at the hands of fearful humans, the reasons behind such acts are both varied and complex. In a candid discussion with mental health professionals, animal welfare organizations, and authorities, the motivations behind these acts of cruelty are brought to light. Dr. Rajesh Jacob, a distinguished senior consultant psychiatrist at Promises Healthcare, shares his insights into the possible underlying mental health issues contributing to this disturbing trend.
Understanding the Motivations: Cruelty towards animals can arise from several factors. While some cases involve acts of retaliation or ignorance about proper animal care, more complex psychiatric issues can also drive abusive behavior. Dr. Jacob points out that individuals with conditions like antisocial personality disorder often lack empathy and derive pleasure from seeing others suffer, making them prone to violence, including animal abuse.
The Role of Exposure and Education: The lack of exposure to nature and wildlife can play a significant role in fostering intolerance towards animals perceived as dangerous. As humans become more disconnected from nature and encounter wildlife in unexpected places, fear may lead to harmful actions, as seen in the tragic case of a paradise tree snake killed with boiling water in a preschool. Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) co-CEO, Anbarasi Boopal, emphasizes the need for increased awareness and education to dispel misconceptions and promote coexistence with wildlife.
The Disturbing Trend Among Youth: A concerning trend involves youth and children involved in intentional acts of animal cruelty. Dr. Jacob highlights the novelty element, where children may replicate harmful actions seen on social media for fun or amusement. Moreover, children from dysfunctional families or with conduct disorders may engage in abusive behavior due to a lack of empathy and the normalization of violence. Early intervention through therapy and education is crucial in curbing such tendencies.
Addressing the Problem and Seeking Justice: In investigating animal cruelty cases, authorities like the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) play a vital role. However, lack of evidence, the emotional cremation of abused animals, and the absence of eyewitnesses can hinder the process of seeking justice. Experts and animal welfare organizations call for stricter penalties for animal abusers and measures to prevent them from owning pets in the future.
The growing incidence of animal cruelty calls for a multi-pronged approach, combining mental health intervention, education, and stricter penalties. By fostering empathy and promoting responsible pet ownership from a young age, we can work towards building a more compassionate society where animals are treated with care and respect. Dr. Rajesh Jacob and other experts emphasize the importance of understanding the root causes behind such acts, enabling us to take proactive steps to prevent and address animal cruelty effectively.
To read the full article, follow this link: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/animal-abuse-pets-wildlife-singapore-investigations-cat-dog-snakes-cruel-3467256
Singapore students with depression, anxiety symptoms miss 24 days of school yearly on average: Study
In TODAY Online’s article written by Deborah Lau, Singaporean students grappling with depression and anxiety symptoms are facing significant challenges in their educational journey, as revealed by a recent study conducted by Duke-NUS Medical School and the Institute of Mental Health. The research highlights the distressing impact of mental health issues on academic attendance, with an average of 24 days of school being missed by affected students annually. Published on May 11, the study surveyed 1,515 children and youth aged four to 21, bringing attention to the urgent need for addressing mental health concerns among Singapore’s young population.
One poignant example is Fitriah, a 19-year-old student who struggled with depression but refrained from seeking professional help due to the exorbitant costs involved. Instead, she resorted to taking “mental health days” off from school, leading her to feign multiple illnesses over time to mask her challenges. This case reflects the broader findings of the study, which indicates that many young individuals face similar dilemmas in coping with their mental health.
Dr. Adrian Loh, a senior consultant psychiatrist at Promises Healthcare, emphasizes the long-term repercussions of untreated mental health conditions, which can include academic and occupational difficulties. Dropping out of formal schooling or an inability to secure stable employment may become unfortunate consequences for those who do not receive adequate support.
The study further reveals that despite the prevalence of anxiety and depression among the youth, a staggering 84.8 percent of affected individuals lack a formal diagnosis from healthcare providers. This suggests that a significant proportion of Singaporean youth dealing with mental health issues remain untreated or under-treated, potentially exacerbating the problem in the long run.
Several factors contribute to the reluctance of young people to seek professional help, with high healthcare costs being a primary deterrent. Additionally, the need for parental consent and concerns about confidentiality create further barriers, hindering affected youth from seeking the necessary support.
It is essential for society to address the stigma surrounding mental health and provide a supportive environment for young individuals seeking help. Parents and caregivers, in particular, play a crucial role in offering support and understanding to their children. By fostering open communication and equipping themselves with knowledge about mental health, parents can positively impact their children’s well-being and academic performance. Ultimately, early intervention and a holistic approach are essential in helping Singaporean youth overcome mental health challenges and lead fulfilling lives.
Follow this link to read the full article: https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/students-anxiety-depression-lose-average-24-days-year-school-2174316
Parenting is an incredible journey filled with growth and transformation for both children and caregivers. As children progress through various developmental stages, it’s natural to witness changes in their behaviour and abilities. However, some challenges may arise, leaving parents concerned and seeking support. In such situations, psychological testing emerges as a valuable resource, offering parents insights into their child’s development and paving the way for tailored assistance.
In the article, “Psychological testing for children: What it is and what to expect,” written by Honeykid’s Esther Chung, we embark on a journey of understanding the significance of psychological testing and how it can positively impact children and families. Expert insights from Educational and clinical psychologists, Tan Su-Lynn and S. C. Anbarasu respectively, will illuminate the purpose and process of psychological testing. As caregivers, being well-informed about this process will empower us to provide the best support and nurture the full potential of our beloved children. So, let’s delve into the warmth and professionalism of psychological testing to embrace its benefits fully.
Follow this link to read the full article: https://honeykidsasia.com/psychological-testing-for-children/