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Talk To Someone: First Step To Save A Life

Talk To Someone: First Step To Save A Life
September 10
11:00 2017

Letting someone know they’re not alone is the first step to saving lives, says Lifeline Fiji executive director Archana Mani.

“When you’re a friend, be a true friend – be aware of what people are going through, be there for them and listen carefully.”

According to Lifeline Fiji, each year almost 130 Fijians take their own lives.

The organisation’s crisis line has received 3209 phone calls between January and August this year, mostly from people between the ages of 22 and 35.

“About 40 per cent of the callers are those that are highly vulnerable to suicide or have very strong suicide ideation,” Mrs Mani says.

“We generally get calls from parents who have issues with children.

“The youngest client we’ve dealt with [the caller was a parent] was six years old.”

Mrs Mani says the crisis line has also seen an increase in senior callers and those with disabilities.

“We are seeing a slight increase in the number of senior citizens calling in who are lonely, who have no one to talk to, who have issues with who they’re staying and also people with disabilities who are just stuck at home,” she says.

“The number for suicide is increasing and the sad bit is younger people are resorting to suicide.

“Usually what we’re finding is people in the urban areas are the ones that struggle to ask for help because they’re the so-called ‘educated’ and ‘should know better’.”

In anticipation of World Suicide Prevention Day, Lifeline Fiji Programmes Director, Jerry Qalobulailakeba says the organisation has been busy with its “Life is for Living” programme.

“Within these two months we have been running events not only in Suva but in the Western Division and the Tailevu province,” Mr Qalobulailakeba says.

“We’ve reached out to more than 10, 000 Fijians over this build up.”

Lifeline is also working in schools and providing training programmes with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Provincial Councils.


World Suicide Prevention Day

The theme for the event, ‘Take a minute, Change a Life’, promotes an important message.

“The key message is to take a moment and reflect on yourself, but secondly look at your friends, how many of them are struggling? How do you support them?” Mrs Mani says.

“When you’re talking about taking a ‘minute’ it actually means being aware – being aware of yourself and those around you.”

Mr Qalobulailakeba encourages sufferers to ‘reach out and speak out’.

“Speak up, stand up and share the message of hope.”

Edited by Mohammed Ali



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