Help me, please....

I read the attempted suicide on Leo and I blogsite about that guy off the Gadong overhead pass. In the first place, I am not even sure whether that guy wanted to commit suicide or otherwise. Whatever the merit of his case, it does raise to one big issue. We either in the government or among the NGOs do not have an outlet in whatever form for anyone to ask and be counseled. If there is, it sure is hidden.

I only know of dialing 141 where you can call JAPEM (Development and Community Development Department) if you want to ask for assistance (I am not sure if this number covers suicide help) but other than that, I have not seen any. I don't know if the hospital does it. Someone correct me please if I am wrong.

I remembered when I was beginning my Masters in the States, I was surprised that our whole group was asked to attend a depression counselling session. Apparently the university had experiences in the past about overseas students facing depression studying there. Depression comes about because of family left behind, difficulty in adjustment etc. I was quite surprised to discover that depression comes in many forms and I too was mildly depressed then according to the signs and many of my colleagues suffer higher levels of depression. And these believe it or not, we were not young kids, we were among a group of professional mid-careers aged averaged between 30 to 40.

There was even a crying session and the university allocated a little corner in the garden where you can sob your hearts out and have someone come out and I guess rock you or hold you until you are okay or have cried enough. There was even a suicidal watch should anyone have extremely high level of depression. We were given telephone numbers of people to call should you really need any help.

Having gone through that, I realised how important it is to have someone to talk to on any problem. I have seen my fair share of people who are down in their luck when I was the head honcho of TAP. Almost every day there will be request to withdraw their funds because of really tight financial problems. I remembered my last cases before I left, there was a guy who ran through two cars driven by people who wanted to posses his car. He slept in the car in his farm to avoid them as he needed the car badly. He didn't have anyone he could talk to. His creditors certainly did not want to listen to him anymore. And there was this lady whose mother had passed away. She wanted to withdraw her funds because she was the only daughter and she wanted her mother to have a good funeral and for her to be sent off well. The rest of her family had emigrated and she had no one to turn to for help.

Most of us are lucky. Like me, I am lucky to have my wife and my son and my extended family. But there are others who are not as lucky probably like the guy who wanted to jump off that bridge. There must be more of him and her out there. I hope that one of my senior colleagues reading this will be able to pick this topic up.

In the meantime, click here if you want to know what you can do to help someone who may be suicidal.

Comments

Anonymous said…
If you must know, Mr P.S. aka BR, I am pretty sure there are hundreds of Bruneians (even Malay Muslims - not surprising - as proven by increasing number of officially "unreported/unrecorded" mysterious suicide cases involving our own 'MIB' people over the years!) who are now contemplating this most sinful and loathsome selfless act of extreme irrational stupidity.:(

Heavily deep in debt, lost in love, public examination failures, etc. and a host of other myriad excuses to take one's own life could be exhaustively listed by researchers - academic or otherwise. It really boils down to the fragile social care, social welfare and social security systems which have not been properly and rightfully addressed, in my honest opinion.

I confess to the whole world now that at the lowest ebb of lows in my 'extremely-tested' life not so long ago, it did cross my mind to simply drive my car into any of the Bruneian or Sarawakian or Sabahan or Indonesian rivers on the Borneo Island and get out of the sunken car to live 'persona non grata' in hiding wherever fate or destiny would take me - if prison cell were to be my living hell, so be it! That dark evil thought had raced through this stupid brain then...

Why?! It is purely a matter of survival, whether you or others may disagree with my overly simplistic answer. Undeniably, it also had everything to do with my lack of religious or spiritual knowledge.

In my particular case, my suicidal tendency then had been made worse by the almost non-existent system of societal and/or governmental support toward the forlorn down- and-out destitute crying for HELP in total silence and great anger... GGRRRR!!! The useless Penghulu or Ketua Kampung or Imams of Masjid institutions, the insensitive
and unhelpful Religious Affairs Ministry or "Baitul Mal", the unsympathetic and inefficient Social Welfare Department of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the glamour-seeking NGOs, and one could go on and on blaming and complaining or call it whining if you like. But my point is no one cares and gives a hoot if I had indeed committed suicide then.

The most sensation would be derived from Frontpage Headlines of the Borneo Bulletin and Brunei Times with all sorts of nuances and endless speculations around the Suicidal Death of a Born Loser and that's it... no comma, just PERIOD!
ROGUE ECONOMIST said…
Dear Anonymous,

I thought I was frustrated and angry.., you are furious! hehe
But I agree with you and I quote:

"In my particular case, my suicidal tendency then had been made worse by the almost non-existent system of societal and/or governmental support toward the forlorn down- and-out destitute crying for HELP in total silence and great anger... GGRRRR!!! The useless Penghulu or Ketua Kampung or Imams of Masjid institutions, the insensitive
and unhelpful Religious Affairs Ministry or "Baitul Mal", the unsympathetic and inefficient Social Welfare Department of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the glamour-seeking NGOs, and one could go on and on blaming and complaining or call it whining if you like. But my point is no one cares and gives a hoot if I had indeed committed suicide then."

Hear! Hear!
Anonymous said…
Well, my dearest rogue economist, hear, or rather, read my heart out about how I were to put myself in my "role model"? HRH Prince Jefri Bolkiah's shoes now! There he is somewhere out there crying out for S.O.S but who in Brunei, the Abode of Peace, bloody cares?! For all one cares, he may just rot in hell Paris or London wherever, whatever.

But I do care although I never knew him and he does not even want to know who I am. I mean, come on Bruneians! Deep inside his heart I could sense that all he really wanted to do was to turn Brunei into one heck of a true state-of-the-art nation and useful economy, albeit mixing business with over the top pleasures with the wrong and real mean "MAFIA" companies!

Brunei Darussalam would have been much more advanced than now much-envied and fancied Dubai, Qatar whatever had HRH Prince Jefri been much more well-advised and careful.

Ah well! Why should I care for a Princely Royal like him. For all we know HRH Prince jefri is living the best of all worlds out there somewhere. It is just the Western media cooking up fairy tale press stories of a riches-to-rags stupid exagerration of him going bust and homeless in the streets of London!

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