I feel very sad reading the news report on the Coroner’s inquiry and his conclusions, including the finding that less than 2 hours after leaving the police station, 14-year old Benjamin Lim committed suicide.
While the Coroner said that had not come across anything that was not in accordance with police or school procedures, he recommended that school counsellors accompany students to the police station before and after police interviews. I hope the police and MOE will not just “consider” the Coroner’s suggestion, but will implement this basic step without delay.
The Coroner said that the school counsellor should have spoken directly to Benjamin to convey the message from the school that it would be better for him not to attend the school camp. He revealed that multi-agency research is being done to study youth suicides. This is an important area of research, and I hope that the study will be made public in due course. It will be useful for not just the police and schools, but also parents like myself who want the best for our children, but are not always equipped to handle every challenging situation with them.
One young life has been prematurely ended. We as a society must do all we can to prevent a similar tragedy from recurring.
Image: The Beautiful Memories