Our vision is a world where fewer people die by suicide

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 June, 2007, 12:00am

I was very encouraged, and pleased, to learn that Henderson Land managing director Peter Lee Ka-kit had provided much needed funding to the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention for its project, 'Angels of Mercy' (June 2).

Fiona Yau Wai-shan and Kim Chan Yin-kwan are to be commended for their commitment and dedication in trying to help relieve the suffering, and guilt, felt by grieving relatives whose loved ones had died by suicide.

Guilt is perhaps the heaviest burden for the surviving relatives to carry, and, as Ms Yau and Ms Chan have said, for some people, having the opportunity to pour out their feelings may mean the difference between them choosing life or death.

The article reports that there are two or three suicides in Hong Kong every day. Sadly this doesn't take into account the number of suicide attempts; or those deaths which are undetermined as to whether they were deliberate or accidental.

The Samaritans have been manning the Suicide Prevention Hotline in Hong Kong for the past 33 years. Samaritans believe that listening and giving callers the time and space to explore their feelings without judgment, is enormously therapeutic

We give unconditional emotional support to everyone, whether they are feeling suicidal, or whether they are finding it hard to cope with feelings of hopelessness, or depression. An empathic listener can be a lifeline to the caller.

Talking to someone who will not make demands, and who will listen to anxieties that may seem trivial and unrealistic, can be a huge release.

It can be very liberating to drop all the facades and tell someone just how bad it really is without being criticised.

If you are going through a personal crisis and want to talk to someone immediately, whether it is night or day, please phone the Samaritans.

Our volunteers will support you emotionally, without judgment, and in complete confidence.

Our vision is a world where fewer people die by suicide.

The number to ring is 2896 0000.

Liz Chamberlain, director, the Samaritans 24-hour multilingual Suicide Prevention Hotline