The death of a 16-year-old girl in Kuching, have raised some serious questions…
A 16-year-old girl from Kuching, Sarawak, has taken her life by jumping to her death after 69% of voters on an Instagram poll, voted for her to end her life.
Prior to her death, the girl uploaded an Instagram-story with a poll of “D or L” with the text, “Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L?” ‘D’ for Death and ‘L’ for Live.
This raises 2 issues:
- Malaysia’s lack of awareness of mental issues, or ignorance to acceptance of mental illnesses due to cultural-upbringing.
- Social media’s effectiveness of people who are in need of help.
Social media plays a very big role in mental illnesses and it could be use to cope and help people who are facing depression or any other mental distress in individuals.
There are many places online that can help people who are feeling down, or contemplating. That being said, the accessibility makes it easy to have access to friends, family and people who may help at a text or phone-call away.
2. Solutions A Plenty
Social media has plenty of opinions and perspectives, which can sometimes prove to be helpful. People share and post things all the time, and who knows? One long an elaborate, well-researched post can change your mindset on how you see things.
Social media has a lot of individuals advocating the importance of mental health, and self-love, and it reassures people that they’re not alone.
Accessibility is both a pro and con, as there can be loads of negative things online that can give people the wrong ideas and encourage irrational behavior and thinking to people who are vulnerable and impressionable.
A lot of people find solace in spreading mean comments behind a screen, as social media allows anyone to be whoever they want to be. This power of anonymity causes insensitivity in a person, when online. And that can cause people to say some really vile and hurtful things.
There have been several cases in Malaysia, where a person in mental distress were belittled and goaded to suicide because they think it could a joke.
There have been many cases of tragic suicides in Malaysia, and it seems to be growing more apparent in younger people. It doesn’t help that people only report these tragic deaths, hence, people forget the importance of mental awareness and they focus on the incident, instead of what we can do to be more aware of signs or things to do to help.
If you are going through a rough time, please reach out to someone and call/chat:
Pride Counseling (for LGBTQ+)