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A total of 400 suicides were recorded in Singapore in 2019, with youths aged 10 to 29 representing a significant portion of this figure. Despite general consensus on the need to curb and prevent suicide, many of us find ourselves not knowing how to approach this seeming delicate topic:
How do we talk about suicide? Are there signs to it?
Will asking about suicide compel one to act on it?
What are the psychological and sociological causes to suicide?
In this panel conversation, we will explore at what goes on in the mind of an individual contemplating suicide, and learn about possible signs and symptoms. We will also share ways in which we can reach out to suicidal individuals, and how we can talk about suicide in a safe and appropriate manner. Additionally, the panel will highlight the importance of looking at suicide beyond the individual, and to understand its larger socio-cultural influences. This panel will also examine the impact of suicide on those who are left behind – and how we can support these ‘suicide survivors’.
Sharda Harrison is a Singaporean actress and arts educator who resides in Singapore. Her most recent productions are ‘The son’ by Pamgdemonium Theatre and ‘Xalisco, a place’ directed by Ines Somellere for Cervantino Festival. Sharda runs her own theatre and education company, Pink Gajah Theatre which she founded in 2013.
Her most recent works under Pink Gajah Theatre are, ‘Hayat’ for the M1 Fringe Festival 2018 and ‘VERSO/RECTO’ for Centre 42’s late-night texting. Sharda is also a theatre lecturer, recently attained her Masters in Arts Pedagogy and Practice as well as the presenter for Channel News Asia’s, ‘Talking Point’.
Dr Jared Ng is a senior consultant working at the Institute of Mental Health. He works at the emergency services in the hospital and is also the program director of a crisis response program in Singapore. Dr Ng is interested in the public health approach to mental health issues, including suicide prevention. He has 4 lovely dogs who take up almost all his time after work.
TAN-LEE YOKE YIN
Mrs Tan-Lee is a professionally trained social worker who has been working with the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) for many years, where she is currently the Principal Trainer. Her role in SOS includes supervising staff members, as well as training and supervising hotline volunteers.
She regularly conducts talks and workshops on crisis and suicide prevention for members of the public, for the professional staff from various social service agencies and other organisations. She had worked with clients in crisis and/or at risk of suicide and with suicide survivors.
Cheryl is an imperfect human with an infectious laugh. She has dedicated her life to uncover the dark and light within herself, constantly expanding her inner awareness to observe the intricate stories that surface with each layer. She came from the advertising world where she was driven by educating the masses on brand stories. Now, she has switched her focus to use raw human stories to inspire courage and love in the people around her.
Cheryl is the Founder and Executive Director of the Singapore Mental Health Film Festival, a non-profit organisation that uses film as a catalyst to advocate and promote conversations about mental health. She is also the Founder of The Breathe Movement. Cheryl is a 2019 Obama Leader: Asia-Pacific.
Steve Sanguedolce has been an active member of Toronto’s independent film community for over thirty years winning numerous international awards. He has had retrospectives at the Cinematheque Quebecoise in Montreal, the National Film Board in Toronto as well as the the Arsenal Institute for Film and Video in Germany.
Over the past 15 years he has been hand developing and hand colouring motion picture film to great acclaim. Much of his time has been spent teaching at local universities, community colleges or conducting independent filmmaking workshops across Canada.. His work incorporates documentary, narrative and experimental genres.
His film work include Blinding (2011), Dead Time (2005), Smack (2000) and Away (1996). He lives Toronto. www.stevesanguedolce.com/landofnotknowing/