PETALING JAYA,Sept 10: Health Minister Dr Adham Baba says the attempted suicide rate in the country declined in the first six months of the year despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Adham said his ministry had reported 465 attempted suicide cases between January and June.
The individuals concerned were given treatment at public hospitals.
“There is a drop of 210 cases compared with the same period last year,” he told reporters after launching a crisis centre set up by the Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association (Miasa) here today.
Earlier, Adham said 11,791 calls were received on the government’s helpline between March 25 and August.
He said 50% of the callers had sought emotional support, and they included those who had lost their jobs and those who suffered from stress and anxiety.
There were also callers seeking help because of domestic abuse (8%), requesting information on Covid-19 (17%) and seeking assistance due to financial problems (7.4%) and mental health problems (3.4%).
On a global scale, he said, there were more than 800,000 suicide deaths, which equates to one suicide case every 40 seconds.
On the call to decriminalise attempted suicide, Adham said the Attorney-General’s Chambers was reviewing the related laws.
He said the government had reviewed Sections 305 and 309 to avoid double-penalising people who already faced psychological problems.
In conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day today, Miasa launched the activity and crisis centre at its Orchid Clubhouse.
The first in the country, people experiencing or recovering from mental health conditions will now have a safe space to be part of a community that is unified in supporting their recovery.