One Saturday morning in January, when Arif returned home from a fishing trip, his mother-in-law asked him to check on his young sister-in-law, who was in her room.
"It was quite unusual because she would usually get up at about six o'clock," says Arif, who lives in a small village in the Indonesian province of Central Java and does not want to reveal his real name for privacy reasons. "And it was 11 o'clock already."
He knocked on the 13-year-old's bedroom door several times but got no answer. "I thought she must have passed out because she hadn't had breakfast," he says. "I wasn't thinking anything suspicious at all."
Finally, Arif asked his brother-in-law to help him break down the door, but they couldn't get it open. He got a chair so he could peek through the gap between the bedroom wall and the ceiling. "That's when I saw her hanging," Arif says.
The young girl had killed herself.
"My youngest daughter hardly talked to any of us, her own family, about her personal life," the girl's father says. "We only learned from her diary that she had been bullied at school. We never knew that until after she died."
One of six children, the sixth-grader had been unhappy at school. Along with the scribbles and sketches in her diary, she wrote that she had been locked in the school toilet and, on another page, that a friend "beat me up".
"I have no idea what I've done (to deserve this)," she wrote on the following line.
Activists and social welfare advocates fear not enough is being done to prevent the tragedy of Indonesian adolescents committing suicide.
In East Jakarta in January, a junior high school student jumped from the fourth floor of her school building. It is believed bullying was the trigger for her suicide, although the school denies the allegation.
In October, a fifth-grader in Central Java hanged himself behind his parents' home. The 12-year-old, believed to have been told off by his parents before he committed suicide, left a note saying he'd planned to die. In the same month, a 14-year-old ended his life at home in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia's southernmost province. His motive is also said to be family-related.
A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey published in 2015 on health among 13- to 17-year-olds found that 5.4 per cent of Indonesian adolescents had considered killing themselves in the previous 12 months. Among the 11,142 respondents, 3.9 per cent had actually attempted suicide.
"Globally, there is a tendency for adolescents to be more suicidal compared to other age groups," says Benny Prawira Siauw, founder of Into the Light Indonesia, a youth-focused suicide prevention organisation.
"Suicide is a complex phenomenon, caused by a lot of factors with biological, psychological and social aspects. In Indonesia, we need to find out more contextually about factors that might add to the suicide potential of adolescents."
A number of studies have tried to identify the factors affecting adolescents' mental health, he adds.
"Some of the things identified include loneliness, bullying, lack of support from parents, and substance abuse. There is a need for mental health or suicide prevention programmes that are comprehensive and integrated with other programmes in schools."
A priority should be to resuscitate a hotline that the government had let lapse, Siauw says.
"This will not only benefit adolescents, who often find it difficult to access professional help because they lack information and financial resources, but also help other members of the public who may be having a suicide crisis."
Media guidelines for suicide coverage are also important.
"We need support from the government to call on the media to be more constructive and educational when they cover suicide stories," Siauw says. "The media can help participate in suicide prevention, instead of generating the risk of copycat suicides, which, according to the WHO, is higher among adolescents and people with depression."
University student Kendra Sastra says she finds it easier to be open about herself with her friends than with her parents.
"I'm just afraid of letting my mother down," the 21-year-old says. "I know all parents want the best for their children, but often we look for something that is totally the opposite of their expectations."
Kendra says she has previously tried to be open with her mother. "But she ended up blaming me, although other times she would support me," she says.
By far the most difficult period in her life was when she was about 17 or 18 years old, she says. "At that age, you still can't control your emotions, and you are still trying to discover your identity."
Whenever her mind is troubled, she seeks refuge in her circle of friends, and also finds comfort in alcohol. "I started drinking at age 17. It helps me forget about the problems I'm facing."
There are things Kendra feels she cannot tell anyone, including close friends. "I just can't. And when that happens, it really hurts."
Just two months ago she thought about committing suicide.
"I thought about taking a lot of sleeping pills. I wasn't scared, because I felt I was at a dead end and that would be the only way out. There were way too many problems coming my way at the same time that revolved around friendship, family and my studies. These problems became a whole and just got bigger and bigger."
Kendra says she is now glad she didn't take her own life.
Her mother, Ina Sastra, remembers a time when her daughter was about 15. "She often told me she just wanted to die," the 41-year-old says. "That really scared me. I think that's probably why I became overprotective of her."
She tried to get closer to her daughter but it wasn't easy, she says.
"She shut herself down. She wouldn't let us, her parents, in," Ina says. "What I feared at that time was if she had been bullied or harassed and we knew nothing about it."
Ina has a background in psychology, but says she sometimes feels she has "failed being a mother".
Youth activist Nur Arifina Vivinia, who has spent many years working closely with adolescents and youths in disaster-hit areas in Indonesia, says adolescents are vulnerable because "they are going through a massive transition physically and psycho-socially".
"This is a stormy period for them, hence the vulnerability. They need support from their friends, parents, family and society, as well as the government, so they can prepare better for their future."
Vendy Satria, founder of Jakarta-based wellness and meditation group Antara Community, says a person once attended one of the group's meditation sessions and openly shared their intention to kill themselves.
"Our community then played an important role as a support system for this person," Vendy says. "We positioned ourselves as friends that respect each other. Someone who wishes to end their life is normally in a condition where their mind is really befuddled or blanketed with negative thoughts. We use meditation as a medium to understand our minds better."
Determined to gain a better perspective on life, university student Kendra "has learned to feel enough about everything", she says.
"When we feel we are not lacking anything, we will have no burden, thus we feel lighter living this life," she says. "I also hope that parents can understand their children better and be less demanding, more supportive. For those still thinking about suicide, problems are always there, I know. But God is bigger than all those combined. There is always a way."
If you are having suicidal thoughts, or you know someone who is, help is available. For Hong Kong, dial +852 2896 0000 for The Samaritans or +852 2382 0000 for Suicide Prevention Services. In the US, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on +1 800 273 8255.
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