In a nail-biting turn of events, the principal of a school in Guizhou province, China saved a life with his presence of mind – he rescued a student who was about to commit suicide by jumping off a building. He did something that even the firefighters could not do in that situation.
The story of an impending suicide
In a video shared recently, we see a school girl standing on the ledge, just adjoining the terrace of a tall building. According to news reports, she is quite depressed and wants to commit suicide. A firefighter is heard giving his statement to the media.
So, the firefighters arrive at the scene. They talk to the girl for some time until she suddenly became upset. She asks everyone to leave. Fearing for her safety, the firefighters moved back, leaving her friends and family at her side. She then asked everyone to leave including her friends. They negotiated. In the
Everybody near and dear start negotiating. However, the girl seems beyond the point of no return. In the end, only her teachers and her best friend stay right with her. They try their best to keep her engaged. All this time, the firefighters are ready for a rescue. You even see one with a jump rope ready!
The hero arrives
Time slows down. And what seems like an eternity, but is just a few minutes, the principal of the school arrives. He talks to her, sympathises with her, and pretended to pass her some water. And as she is distracted, he reaches out and grabs her shirt, pulling her back to safety!
Soon, she is rescued by the firefighters and brought back to safety.
Watch the video of the heroic rescue here.
What drives children to commit suicide?
The scenario in Singapore is grim. Even though the overall suicide rate has gone down, there is a rise in the number of incidents of youth committing suicide. There is also an increase in the attempts to commit suicides. And it is just sad, considering the fact that the red dot is considered to be the safest place to raise kids.
There are several reasons why this happens, something every parent should know.
- Parental pressure to perform. Asian parents are known for the warmth and kindness while we raise kids. Our kids rarely see some tough love. However, when it comes to performing at school or even at sports, we all are kiasu to a certain extent. We expect a lot from them without even considering their abilities realistically. This puts a lot of pressure on them.
- Lack of a safety net. If you see, the reasons why children attempt to commit suicide are quite trivial. But for that 11-year-old’s mind, failing in an exam is the end of the world. However, that would not push them to take such drastic measures as committing a suicide unless they lack a safety net. Within reason, you should allow failure. However, they should know that failure is not the end of the road for them.
- Peer pressure and bullying. Many times, children get bullied at school. A 15-year-old boy committed suicide because he was bullied to such an extent that he was sure he was going to be raped by a paedophile, like the kids who were bullying him promised. He did not talk to his parents, he did not talk to his friends about it. He decided to end his life. But that is not the only form of bullying a child may face. Online bullying is a real thing, and it has claimed many lives, many of them, innocent children.
Spotting the warning signs of suicide
Everyone experiences pressure at school. But that is just a part of the process of growing up. That said, a few children are more susceptible than others to commit suicide, particularly those who suffer from depression. Here are some warning signs of depression in your child.
- Difficulty sleeping or other disruptions of sleep patterns
- Overwhelming feelings of anxiety and/or sorrow at inappropriate times
- Loss of interest in pastimes formerly enjoyed
- A sensation of hopelessness, lack of self-esteem and feelings of guilt
- Fatigue and overall lower energy levels
- change in appetite, either a decrease or an increase, leading to weight loss or gain
- Suicidal thoughts and recurring thoughts about death
- Irritability, restlessness and short temper
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Difficulty in making or maintaining close friendships
If you feel your child is suffering from depression, just have him talk to a child psychologist. She will be able to avert a calamity. However, it is up to you, mums and dads, to spot the early warning signs.
In case you or anyone you know requires emotional support or help, please call SOS (Samaritans of Singapore) on 1800-221 4444 (24-hour helpline), or e-mail them at [email protected]
(Image: Screen grab)
Also, read Bullying in Singapore: What you must know to protect your child