Singapore has reported at least 452 suicide cases last year, the highest figure since 2012, non-profit suicide prevention centre Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) said in a statement today.
The statement said this was a 13 per cent increase from 2019's 400 cases.
It added that the increase in suicide deaths was observed across all age groups.
In particular, the number of suicide deaths among the elderly - aged 60 and above - hit 154, the highest recorded figure among this age group since 1991 and a 26 per cent increase from 2019.
SOS chief executive Gasper Tan said, "COVID-19 has severely affected the nation's economy, lifestyle and mental health. We are extremely worried about how our elderly are coping during this public health crisis."
"During the pandemic period, the elderly were more likely to face social isolation and financial worries. Difficulty in constantly adapting to changes as well as prolonged feelings of loneliness may be devastating," he added.
While there was an increase in suicide deaths among the elderly in 2020 compared with 2019, SOS said its 24-hour hotline received fewer calls from them.
In its 2020 financial year from April 2020 to March 2021, 4,455 calls were made by the elderly, compared with 4,816 in the 2019 financial year.
SOS added that elderly callers expressed difficulty coping with loneliness and inactivity due to isolation, psychological distress, and impaired social and family relationships - which were compounded by the pandemic.