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SOS tells public to stop trivialising the phrase “kill myself”

Ever dramatically told someone you wanted to “kill yourself” because the WiFi was down or said that the weather was so hot that you “wanted to die”? Well, you might want to rethink that.

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) has launched a campaign to get members of the public to stop trivialising suicide through the use of these phrases which dramatise a situation, but never actually come to fruition. This is part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

As such, it partnered with TBWASingapore for a campaign using these common but hurtful expressions to get the public talking about suicide seriously. This year’s campaign aims to educate people about suicide and encouraging the right conversations about the severe and complicated issue.

Along with a print activation, SOS launched a video on the topic showcasing different individuals talking about common phrases which are used in a trivial manner. The individuals, some of which are suicide survivors, then share their own experiences with the matter. Another one shares an experience of his friend committing suicide.

Since its launch on 20 September 2017, the video garnered over 114,000 views on Facebook, over 1,000 reactions and around 695 shares at the timing of writing.

According to a press statement on the campaign, SOS said that many don’t realise that trivialising suicide can hurt the people around them who might be struggling with suicidal thoughts or even those left behind by it.

“For the past two years, we encouraged people to break the silence by wearing a black SOS plaster on their wrist. But suicide prevention is more than creating awareness during this month. It’s about having the right conversations about suicide every day,” Christine Wong, executive director of SOS, said. She added that the lack of sensitivity shows the urgent need for society to better understand suicide.

“By tapping into this popular cultural trend, we hope to bring attention to the issue of suicide and its real causes,” Gary Steele, executive creative director of TBWA, said.

Marketing has reached out to TBWA and SOS for additional comment.

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