SINGAPORE: President Halimah Yacob said on Wednesday (Jul 21) that while it is hard to "make sense of what happened" at River Valley High School, those affected by the death of a 13-year-old student are "not alone".
"It is hard to make sense of what happened. It is even harder to fathom the unimaginable trauma and grief experienced by the families, loved ones, friends, students and teachers affected," said Mdm Halimah on Wednesday (Jul 21).
"Some people, including our youths and students, may be shocked and scared by the news, while others feel helpless and confused.
"If you are one of them, I want you to know that you are not alone. It is not a sign of weakness to seek help or a listening ear," she said in a Facebook post, in which she added a link to a list of resources of support.
READ: Coping with trauma - Acknowledge incident and talk about emotions, say experts after River Valley High death
The Secondary 1 boy was found motionless in a toilet on the school compound on Monday, and pronounced dead at the scene. A 16-year-old fellow student has been charged with murder.
Saying that she was "deeply saddened" to learn of the boy's death, Mdm Halimah offered her condolences to the victim's family.
She noted that Wednesday was the first day many students and teachers of River Valley High School were back in school after the incident, following a public holiday for Hari Raya Haji on Tuesday.
"I am sure that it is a sombre day for many of them," she said.
Mdm Halimah added that many helplines and groups were offering confidential support in case those who wanted to seek help did not wish to speak to their loved ones.
"The important thing to remember is that you are not alone in your struggles.
"This is a time for Singaporeans to band together to collectively heal," she said, urging people to reach out to those who seem to be in distress.
"Especially during this trying time of the pandemic, let’s be kind and compassionate to one another."