Before taking her life, Singaporean singer appealed for mental health care

A photo of Samantha Lee with a quote from her online open letter. Photo: Samantha Lee/Facebook
A photo of Samantha Lee with a quote from her online open letter. Photo: Samantha Lee/Facebook

Samantha Lee, a former reality television show contestant, made an appeal for those suffering from mental health and domestic violence to seek help before taking her life yesterday following her own struggle with depression.

A funeral was to be held today for Lee, whose death was announced last night through her social media channels following appeals she wrote online prior to her death.

“Funny when you’re dead people start listening,” the former Singapore Idol 3 contestant wrote in one of two Sunday evening posts before taking her life. “So I would like to take advantage of my death and leave some words for the world so people don’t repeat the same mistakes I did.”

Her open letter urged those suffering from domestic violence and mental health issues to seek help early.

“It’s easier to heal from it the sooner you realize,” she wrote. “It doesn’t mean you’re crazy … Don’t wait till it’s too late till it manifests and gets hardwired in your brain like me.”

Suicide is a taboo subject in Singapore, where it is a serious health crisis and considered the leading cause of death of those 10 to 29. 

Lee did not elaborate on her own experiences but had been the subject of tabloid rumors that she had engaged in an extramarital affair. 

She also complained about her own mental health care, calling out a “Dr. Tor” she said was highly regarded at the Institute of Mental Health, or IMH. She complained that he was negligent and acted punitively toward his patients.

Inquiries emailed to the institution went unreturned as of Monday afternoon; Lee’s family members have also declined to comment. 

An announcement on her other social media platforms last night said a service would be held Monday.

“Samantha has passed. You’re invited to her last performance on 23 December 2019. She will then be scattered to the sea to be a mermaid as she wished,” the message said, without specifying a location.

In appealing to domestic violence victims to seek immediate help, Lee did allude to her own private difficulties.

“Your relationship might be able to be saved if you seek help from family counsellors early. Your loved one will not be slapped with criminal charges,” she wrote. “[A]nd with professional help, it’s less likely for things to get worse to a point of no return and you will be able to keep your family together.”

Lee posted a selfie with her farewell post and wrote that she had been unable to “fit in.” 

We all did our best but I still do not fit in … this world anymore and I know I never ever will. So this is my goodbye,” she wrote

Earlier, on Sunday morning, she had uploaded a video of a song entitled Why Goodbye she had performed with her musician brother Joe Lee. 

She was a contestant on Season 3 Singapore Idol in 2009, where she performed a cover of No Doubt’s Don’t Speak.

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