Suicide

“I was so badly affected that I contemplated suicide. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Everything that held meaning for me – family, work religion – was collapsing, and it seemed like there was nothing left. I went through a painful year of constantly enduring the feeling of extreme loneliness, as if I had been forsaken by everyone around me, including my family members, work colleagues, even God. It was a loneliness so deep that I could not see any way out of it. Nobody came up to offer any help; it seemed to me as if no one was willing or prepared to do so.”

~Thomas is a civil servant in his fifties. He lives with his wife and two children, and identifies as bisexual. His story, and many others, can be read in the ebook.

What is Suicide?

Suicide is a deliberate, self-inflicted act of killing oneself. It happens when the emotional pain becomes too unbearable, and too difficult for one to cope.

Do you feel emotionally distressed?  Are you experiencing feelings of hopelessness or despair?

If you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, and feeling depressed and suicidal, it can be a very painful, lonely experience.

But it’s also just as important to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  There are people out there who care enough to listen, and you can get help.

How can you help?

How would you feel if a loved one or friend told you that they’re feeling suicidal?

Well…. I suppose it would be very common to feel:

Scared… “My best friend is going to die!”

Helpless… “What should I do?”

Angry…. “How dare my best friend die! For what? I must stop this!”

Confused… “Wonder what brought this on?”

If you happen to know someone who is feeling depressed or suicidal, here are some things you can do to help them:

DO:

* Stay calm.

* Be accepting.

* Be patient & gentle.

* Show that you care & be there for the person.

* Listen to their problems and feelings.

* Encourage them to seek help & talk to someone they trust.

* Get help for them & for yourself.

Where can you find help?

Useful information about suicide prevention is available from the following Singapore-based websites:

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)

Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT)

International resources:

Befrienders Worldwide

Trevor Project

What is World Suicide Prevention Day?

World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September promotes worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides. According to the World Health Organisation, on average almost 3000 people commit suicide daily. For every person who dies by suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. Read more about it here.

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Violence in GLBT relationships

Violence in gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender relationships

Do you know someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and caught in a violent relationship with their partner, like Wee Lee in his story “Let go of your fears”? Or maybe someone you know is being abusive towards their partner, girlfriend or boyfriend?

Domestic violence is:

* Any type of abusive behaviour used to gain and maintain control over another.

* When one partner or ex-partner consciously tries to manipulate and dominate the other.

* About the misuse of power and control.

Types of GLBT domestic violence

Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse or social control. Abuse does not always have to be physical or sexual to become domestic violence.

Emotional or psychological abuse is any type of behaviour by one partner to make the other feel afraid, worthless or unsafe.

Examples of emotional and psychological abuse include:

* Putting the partner down eg, telling them that they are ugly, stupid or incompetent.

* Humiliating them in front of friends, family or in public.

* ‘Outing’ or threatening to out them to friends, family, at work or to their cultural community.

* Undermining the relationship between the partner and their loved ones.

* Threatening to self-harm or commit suicide

Social abuse is any behaviour by one partner to control the other’s social life. It can include:

* Stopping them from visiting their friends or family.

* Abusing or fighting with their friends or family so they stop visiting or calling.

* Locking them in the house, or preventing them from attending social events.

Physical abuse is any type of physical violence that an abusive partner inflicts on the other. It can include:

* Hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, strangling or burning.

* Breaking possessions or punching/kicking walls.

* Withholding or stopping their partner from getting medication or treatments.

Sexual abuse is any behaviour where one partner forces the other to perform sexual acts against their will. It can include:

* Pressuring them to have sex when they don’t want to.

* Pressuring, forcing or tricking them into non-consensual or unsafe sex.

* Forcing them to have sex with other people.

* Sexually assaulting or raping them.

Stalking is any behaviour by which one partner (or ex-partner) tries to intimidate or harass the other. It can include:

Following them when they go to work, home or out.

Constantly watching them, their home or workplace.

Calling, texting or e-mailing them or their family, friends or work colleagues more often than is appropriate or when asked not to.

Resources

Are you struggling with GLBT violence issues in your relationship, or know someone who is in need of help and support?

 Although we might not have a comprehensive programme in Singapore for people involved in and affected by GLBT relationship violence, we do hope you can talk to someone about it, stay safe and work out a solution.

Oogachaga Counselling & Support

Promoting Alternatives to Violence (PAVe)

Action for Women and Research (AWARE)

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)

If there is any immediate danger or imminent threat to life, please call the Police emergency hotline 999.

Acknowledgements

Another Closet: Domestic violence in gay & lesbian relationships.

This is an edited version of the original article entitled Violence in a gay relationship written by Bryan Choong, Centre Manager, Oogachaga, first posted on Blowing Wind.

Hard to talk about issues

The personal, real-life stories in the book I Will Survive have raised issues that many of us may either have some experience with, or encountered in our friends or family members.

If you’d like some additional support or information, here are some local services based in Singapore (highlighted in red), as well as international resources, organised alphabetically by issue.

For a more extensive list of Singapore-based resources, please refer to the Resources tab. Please contact the Editor to let us know if you have any amendments to the listings, or suggestions for inclusion.

ADDICTIONS

National Addictions Management Service (NAMS)

We Care Community Services

BBC Health – Sex addiction

BISEXUALITY

The Bisexual Index

I think I might be bisexual, now what do I do?

What is bisexuality? (Psychology Today, 11 July 2010)

BULLYING

Bully-free Campaign

More students call for help against bullies (Channel News Asia, 8 May 2007)

1 in 4 secondary school students bullied (Sunday Times, 16 July 2006)

Schools take serious view against bullying (Ministry of Education, 21 October 2005)

Befrienders Worldwide – About bullying

COMING OUT

What if I’m gay? A coming out guide

Coming Out, Coming Home (Psychology Today, 23 July, 2010)

Support in coming out helps LGB well-being (Health.com, 20 June 2010)

National Coming Out Day

HIV/ AIDS/ STIs

Action for AIDS, Singapore

LiveLife

DSC Clinic

BBC News – The HIV/ AIDS Debate

NAM AIDSmap – Sharing knowledge, changing lives

The Body – The complete HIV/ AIDS resource

MARRIED & GAY

Married Gay

Married Male – Resource centre for the bi-married male

Gay Husbands, Straight Wives

Millions of women married to gay men in China (Fridae, 3 Feb 2012)

MENTAL ILLNESS

Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT)

Institute of Mental Health (IMH)

Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH)

Health Promotion Board (HPB)

BBC Mental Health

Befrienders Worldwide – About depression

PARENTS OF LGBT CHILDREN

SAFE Singapore (Supporting, Affirming, & Empowering our LGBTQ friends & family)

My Child is Gay (book by Bryce McDougall, 2007)

What to do when your child says “I’m gay!” (Psychology Today, 18 April, 2011)

PARTNER VIOLENCE

Promoting Alternatives to Violence (PAVe)

Another Closet (Australia)

RELIGION

As Salam – online group for queer Muslims

Free Community Church (FCC) – a diverse Christian congregation

Heartland – gay Buddhist fellowship

What does the Bible actually say about being gay? (BBC News, 23 October 2003)

To be gay & Muslim (AlterNet, 9 April, 2002)

Gay Muslims (Channel 4 documentary, 2006)

SUICIDE, SELF-HARM & SUICIDE GRIEF

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)

Befrienders Worldwide – About self-harm

Youth Suicide – Gay/ bisexual men

TRANSGENDER ISSUES

Sg Butterfly – Singapore’s 1st transgender community portal

Transsexuality

WOMEN

Association of Women for Action & Research (AWARE)

RedQueen! – for queer women in Singapore

Sayoni – to empower Asian queer women

Women’s Nite – a safe space in Singapore lesbian & bisexual women to gather & discuss

Women who love women (documentary, 2006)

Disclaimer The information provided here is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as (or be a substitute for) medical, personal or professional advice, or services. Any medical or other significant life decisions should be made in conjunction with a qualified professional, a list of which can be found under “Professional Resources”. The editor and any other companies or persons associated with the production of this website assume no responsibility for any omissions or errors contained herein and will not be liable for any complications, injuries or other accidents arising from or in connection with, the use of or reliance upon any information in this website.