Actor Henry Golding challenges Malaysians to connect with others

Henry Golding

By C. Vinoothene

KUALA LUMPUR: Hollywood star Henry Golding has shared his concerns over the alarming rise of suicide and those attempting it in his home country, due to factors brought on by the prolonged lockdown following the ongoing battle with Covid-19 pandemic.

The British-Malaysian actor of the Crazy, Rich, Asian movie fame said it was important to speak up about this issue and has challenged fellow Malaysians to reach out to others in their lives, not just to make small talks but also enquire on their wellbeing.

“It can be so simple. Think of three friends who may need that text or that small call for three to four minutes, just to check in on them. Really ask them how they are doing and coping with everything,” he said in his recent four-minute Instagram TV post.

He said in this trying time, people may take for granted their mental state and emotional fragility. This may lead to suicide or thoughts of it especially when faced with hardship and uncertain future following job losses, absence of social interactions and being cooped up in the middle of densely-populated cities like Kuala Lumpur.

“Those numbers (of suicide) are sadly climbing. We can do something about it. Help support the people around us. Having that small outreach can prevent something disastrous from happening,” he said.

Golding also implored those having dark thoughts about themselves to connect with someone or reach out to support organisations such as the National Council of Befrienders Malaysia and the Malaysian Mental Health Association for help.

“I know you’re all locked up and it would be nice to talk to people. And hearing somebody say they’re thinking of you can make such a drastic change,” he added.

According to the police a total of 631 suicide cases were recorded in 2020, 468 cases (January to May 2021) and 609 cases (2019). Selangor had recorded the highest number of cases at 117 as of May this year.

Bukit Aman CID director Comm Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hassan said factors such as emotional distress as well as family and financial problems have led to the daily average of two suicide cases from 2019 until now.

Those suffering may reach out to befrienders.org.my/centre-in-malaysia for help in different states; or call Befrienders hotline (03-7627 2929); Mental Health Psychosocial Support Service (03-2935 9935 or 014-322 3392); Talian Kasih (15999) and Malaysian Mental Health Association (03-77825499). – Bernama