image

Suicides in Hong Kong

Pop star’s shock death reminds of the need to listen to those battling inner demons

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 August, 2018, 11:48pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 August, 2018, 10:47am

I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of the Canto-pop star of the at17 duo (“Pop star Ellen Joyce Loo dies in fall from her Happy Valley flat”, August 5). Police checked CCTV footage and certified the case as suicide, and said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Loo did not leave behind any suicide note. Perhaps the only indication that she may have been thinking of something drastic comes from her last public Facebook post, where she says, “I am going to do something great today – it is one of the decisions I made for myself since I turned 30”.

Though we will perhaps never know why Loo ended her life, we know that illness and disease lead to depression and may cause some people to contemplate suicide. Loo was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2013. Other people may not understand how those who suffer from bipolar disorder deal with the difficulties this causes in their daily lives.

Celebrity deaths highlight the need to better spot depression

I developed depressive thoughts a few years ago and contemplated self-harm. I had been unemployed for a year, and my father told me that life becomes meaningless without an occupation. However, I came to realise that there are so many other things that give meaning to life other than having a job.

Listening to those battling inner demons or thinking about suicide may make a big difference. It allows them to express their difficulties and stress, and gives them a chance to heal. We should be patient and listen, as that could help to avert tragedy.

Felix Mak, Kowloon Bay

If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, help is available. For Hong Kong, dial +852 2896 0000 for The Samaritans or +852 2382 0000 for Suicide Prevention Services. In the US, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on +1 800 273 8255. For a list of other nations’ helplines, see this page