My Big Fat Audacious Goal

As I’m entering the next half of my life, I’ve been pondering my purpose. What else do I want to do before I leave this earth?

The one thing that has been heavy on my heart for the past 2 decades is the number of suicides amongst our youth. Having dialogued with many in this space, the complexities of why a young person would feel pressed to take their own life is not easy to unravel, much less solve.

Did you know that every 3 days, one young person aged 10-29 dies by suicide? Isn’t that number sobering?

My kids have faced their own mental health crises, and the stories are cutting too close. They’ve all known someone who has taken their own life. A best friend’s younger brother. A friend’s brother’s wife. A student in their secondary school. 3 poly mates they know of. And they have shared with me many more encounters of cries for help – having to rush down to drive a friend’s sister to A&E after overdosing, a friend who didn’t turn up for dinner because a sibling had self-harmed and was hospitalized.

And for every suicide, there are more who have attempted, are depressed, or in deep emotional pain. None of our children are shielded from this harsh reality of the silent anguish within. There are so many issues plaguing our children these days and we don’t know which of them will succumb to the pressure.

As parents, we cannot turn a blind eye to this huge problem right in front of us. What have we done collectively, as a society, for our children to give up on life, on themselves. What can we do better?

The perplexing thing is that despite the efforts of so many organisations, the numbers are rising. In 2022, there were a total of 125 suicides among the 10-29 age group. And the justification that our population has grown doesn’t hold water because birth rates have been declining.

The more I discussed this with friends, the more we felt compelled to start a non-profit. However, my wise friend Su advised me to check out everything that is available.

What I discovered, was that there are a LOT of services out there for youth with regards to mental health. And I also discovered that almost every youth I spoke to have NEVER heard of any of them. Such a pity that we have all these wonderful resources, many of which are ground up initiatives which not enough people know of.

Thus, my new mission is to review all the services out there to raise awareness and help spread the word. Haha finally I can put my blog to good use.

And my big fat audacious goal is to half the suicide rate within my lifetime. All of us can take small steps to play our part, and together, we can change these very scary statistics, one child at a time. Who’s with me?