Asia’s Next Top Model’s Alicia Amin took to Instagram to share how she attempted to take her own life last year
The phrase 'New year, new you' is truthfully, overused. I'm guilty of it too. Come every first of January, we strive to list down a couple of resolutions for a better year ahead. Be it eating healthily, working out, or reading more. They're good goals. Goals that achievable with discipline. For others, things aren't so easy. Learning to love and believe in yourself, seeking light on the darkest of days and finding worth in one's life. To welcome the new year, model and actress Alicia Amin took to Instagram to share how she's going to face 2018 with more positivity—because earlier last year, she tried to commit suicide.
Amin started her post with, "Early 2017, I woke up in a psych ward and had to stay for [a] week because I attempted suicide and failed. I have never spoken about this, ever.
"This was after I filmed AsNTM but no one knew. [It was] before I had finished moving home from Melbourne, and before I learnt that standing up for myself and [for the] things I believe in would inspire so many others who felt like they were in the dark. Six months later I took this photo in Pulau Tenggol and learnt how difficult underwater photography is."
The accompanying photo showed Amin on a boat smiling brightly with a peace sign held up. No one knew. It's true that no one would be able to tell the kind of thoughts a person is harbouring. There is no warning sign on a person with suicidal thoughts and it's only getting more prevalent. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), somebody dies by taking their own life every 40 seconds. Locally, WHO reports that the rate of suicide deaths in Malaysia is 9.5 per 100,000 population with an average of 2,000 people dying by suicide every year. The number might have even increased by now. In 2015, Befriender received 5,739 calls from people who had suicidal intentions. In 2016, that number jumped to 7,446.
"Although suicide is more common among older people in most parts of the world, research shows that suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 15 and 29 in Malaysia," Befriender's KL publicity director Ardy Ayadali told New Straits Times.
Alicia Amin was 22 when she tried to take her own life. In hopes of motivating others who feel the same way she did then, she continued in her post to say, "I will not promise you that everything works out the way you want it because life is unpredictable.
"We all go through different hardships [and] different demons. But I do urge you to hold on just a little longer, allow yourself a few more mistakes and say yes to all the love you can before you even think of giving up. You will be surprised how much a little faith, forgiveness and kindness from yourself to yourself will help everything get better."
One of the main reasons why suicide is on the rise is the fact that there is still a stigma attached to mental health issues (and getting treatment for it) in our society. Some are uncomfortable or afraid to talk about it. Some get brushed off or not taken seriously. And that leads back to the lack of awareness and understanding of mental health and why it's so important to care for yourself emotionally and mentally as well.
There is no sure way of knowing if someone is having suicidal thoughts but if they do come to you for help, don't belittle it. Be open with your loved ones. Be supportive of the people around you. Be kind to whoever it may be. You'll never know but your choice of positive or negative words could potentially shine some light or tip them over.
Every life has an unmeasurable worth. Remember: You're not alone.
If you or anyone you know is having depression or suicidal thoughts and need someone to talk to, you can contact the following helplines/organisations: