‘The Rooms that Remain’ Addresses Issue of Youth Suicide in Singapore

Suicide remains a leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 29 in Singapore and has been on the rise.

Youthline, a charity providing youth mental health services, and PleaseStay Movement, a non-profit suicide advocacy group, have launched a deeply moving initiative to illuminate the profound and enduring impact of youth suicide.

Titled ‘The Rooms That Remain’, the public exhibition and accompanying microsite aim to spark necessary conversations about mental health and suicide prevention amongst the community. This initiative was delivered in collaboration with MullenLowe Singapore.

Suicide is the highest cause of death among youths aged 10 to 29 in Singapore, and has been on the rise for several years, according to the latest statistics shared by the initiative.


 

‘The Rooms That Remain’ recreates the bedrooms of three young Singaporean individuals who tragically lost their lives to suicide. These intimate spaces, brought to life through the memories held by their families, offer a poignant glimpse into the lives and legacies of these beloved youths. The exhibit is being held at Singapore shopping mall Wisma Atria, from 24 June to 30 June.

By stepping into these recreated rooms, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the real-world stories behind these numbers and the devastating ripple effects on the families left behind. Complementing the physical exhibit is a microsite featuring virtual replicas of the rooms. Online visitors can explore these spaces and delve into the personal stories of the individuals behind the rooms.

The microsite will also provide information on mental health resources and how to seek help through Youthline’s services, including a live mental health helpline and pro-bono counselling.


 

“Talking about suicide is heart-wrenching and difficult. However, meaningful conversations need to happen to help clarify and dispel fear about suicide among the wider public, and more importantly, build collective compassion and break the stigma which survivor-families face,” said Valerie Lim, co-founder of PleaseStay Movement.

‘The Rooms that Remain’ is an open platform that offers a safe manner to broach the subject of suicide. Through these living spaces, we are invited to appreciate the lives of youths who had sadly succumbed to suicide. Here, we can ponder or discover how mental health affects us all and that, ultimately, we have a shared responsibility to look out for each other.”

Marc Khoo, Chairman of Youthline, said, “The alarming rates of suicide among youths and the rise in proportion of youths in distress in Singapore calls for greater awareness, support, and collaboration across the community. Our goal is to provide a listening ear and effective support to young people who are struggling, as early as possible — and we aim to do so in the most accessible way.

By creating a safe, non-judgmental space for youths to address their struggles, we hope to rein in mental health challenges before they become acute and inch closer to a future where no youth feels alone.”

‘The Rooms That Remain’ exhibit will be graced by Singapore’s Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Eric Chua.

This initiative is supported by several partners, including The Merry Men Works, whose mission is to create experiential spaces for meaningful encounters — playing a pivotal role in bringing the rooms to life. Additionally, New Charis Movers provides trusted packing services to help families find closure after losing a loved one.

The individuals behind the rooms:

  • Elisabeth Pauwels (2000-2019): A warm and bubbly child, Elisabeth brought sunshine and laughter to those around her. She had a deep love for animals and was an active member of her neighbourhood’s parrots club.
  • Zen Dylan Koh (2000-2018): Zen shared a special and close bond with his parents. In his memory, his parents established the Zen Dylan Koh Fund<https://thezendylankohfund.org/>, to provide free therapy to disadvantaged youths — supporting Zen’s dream of becoming a psychologist to help others.
  • Mitchell Ang (2001-2018): A cheerful and kind boy, Michael persevered through learning difficulties, making his parents proud of his achievements. He found joy in fishing and playing basketball, activities that showcased his gentle and fun-loving nature.

One of the rooms as shown on the microsite which you can visit here.

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