Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) is the only suicide prevention centre in Singapore. It is a secular non-profit organisation which provides 24-hour confidential emotional support to people who have difficulty coping during a crisis, who are thinking of suicide or affected by suicide. Since it was established on 1 December 1969, SOS has developed into a professionally run and managed organisation.
SOS adopts a holistic approach, focusing on prevention, intervention and postvention.
At SOS, we believe that suicide prevention is everybody's business, and require the combined effort of many. Our suicide prevention work hence includes our various outreach projects to rally the community to look out for one another as well as encourage the public to seek help when they feel distressed. We conduct talks and workshops for youths and the community to raise greater awareness of suicide and impart basic knowledge and skills. We also run different professional training programmes to equip front liners and professionals in the field with the right set of knowledge and skills in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. Last but not least, our email befriending service and 24-hour hotline provide emotional support to people who are having difficulties coping during a crisis.
Our early intervention work starts when we provide emotional support to people in crisis or thinking of suicide through our email befriending service and 24-hour hotline. We also intervene during a critical suicide crisis via the hotline and in rare instances, on-site during emergency situations*. When required, our professional staff, who are trained counselors, social workers and psychologists, continue the crisis and suicide intervention work through face-to-face counselling sessions.
When there has been a suicide death, family, friends and other people are affected too. Through our Local Outreach to Suicide Survivor (LOSS) programme, we provide information and emotional support to survivors, especially at the early stage of the crisis. Counselling is also available for family members and friends grieving a suicide death. Our postvention work also include our support group for survivors, the Healing Bridge, which provides a safe place for survivors to express their struggles and receive support from other survivors. As survivors of suicide are themselves at high risk of suicide, suicide postvention also plays a preventive role.
*We recommend the public to call the Police at 999 in case of emergency as they have more adequate resources to provide immediate assistance.
Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development & Second Minister for Finance
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