My maid just told me her friend is feeling depressed and has suicidal thoughts. She is missing home and having a hard time with her employers here for months. What can I do to help?

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If you know who her employer is (or if you could find out from your maid), it will be best to inform him/her. Talking about suicide should not be taken lightly because it means that the person is seriously considering the matter. This usually suggests that the person is at high risk of taking his/her own life. Inform the employer so that he/she could maybe contact the agency to deal with the situation. Also, if you don't mind, do allow your maid to actively keep in contact with her friend. Having emotional support is critical to a person who is contemplating ending his/her own life. Lastly, do pass on the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) hotline to the friend: 24-hour hotline (manned by trained volunteers) - 1800-221 4444 For more information on how to help someone who is in crisis:

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If it's your friend's maid, I'm afraid there's nothing much you can do unless you want to call up the employer and let her know. You could also get the maid to call the agency or SOS since she already has suicidal thoughts, which should not be taken lightly. If your maid is close to her, get your maid to watch over her friend. Her employer should be notified of this issue as she is in direct contact with the maid.

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Tell her to make sure she is there for her friend, ask her if she is willing to move jobs and keep an eye out for any other mum who is looking to hire. Try also posting a recommendation on groups to see if there is any potential available moves for her.

Please recommend her some good psychiatrist and tell her to stay with her friend if possible as she needs her love and support. Also tell her to switch employer, suggest some good family if you know of any. Love and support will heal everything.

Tell your maid to offer her friend a shoulder to lean on and an ear that would listen. Depression is a serious medical condition, and the worst thing you can do to someone who is suffering from it is to dismiss what their feeling.

So sorry to hear. She should definitely visit a doctor - undiagnosed depression is a very dangerous thing, and not something to be treated lightly.