Singapore – Plasters, often used to mend cuts and bruises, are now also being used as an invaluable tool against the unseen wounds of suicide, by the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) and TBWA\Singapore.
The project, called “Wear a plaster. End the Silence”, aims to start meaningful conversations around suicide with special SOS black plasters to be placed on a person’s inner wrist, which serves as a badge of support.
The plasters will be given out at across the city-state on September 10 in time for World Suicide Prevention Week, together with a hashtag campaign #howru. SOS started beating the publicity drums online last Monday with a downloadable virtual plaster that can be added to social media profile pictures.
A number of celebrities have already pledged their support for the campaign, including Mr SR Nathan, former President of Singapore; Jayley Woo, MediaCorp artiste; Stephanie Carrington, FLY Entertainment artiste; Oon Shu An, international stage and television actress; Narelle Kheng and Benjamin Kheng from local pop band Sam Willows; and more.
Suicide claims more than one life in Singapore every day with a significantly higher number of men who take their own lives. SOS is Singapore’s only suicide prevention centre.
While it won’t exactly heal the emotional roots of suicide, Christine Wong, Executive Director of SOS, being able to openly discuss it among peers is the first step to preventing it.
“Plasters are usually used as a first-aid measure when people need to cover and protect a wound. When someone wears a plaster, people around them tend to ask what happened and how they are feeling.”
“Emotional pain, however, is not always visible. TBWA\Singapore came up with a meaningful and interactive way to draw attention to what we cannot see,” she adds.
Mr Edmund Choe, Regional Chief Creative Officer of TBWA, had this to share. “Suicide is something that can affect us all, young or old. And it’s a shame that people are reluctant to even talk about it. So we’re very glad to lend our creative support to finally give this social issue a voice and bring it to light.”
SOS’ 24-hour hotline is 1-800- 221 4444.