NEWS

Let’s Talk About Suicide: Expert

An Australian expert says very often people who tend to think about suicide do say it but are ignored, avoided or missed out on. Gaynor Hicks, a mental health professional
21 Jul 2015 11:00
Let’s Talk About Suicide: Expert
Participants at the training on Suicide Alertness in Nadi. Photo: Sheetal Prasad

An Australian expert says very often people who tend to think about suicide do say it but are ignored, avoided or missed out on.

Gaynor Hicks, a mental health professional specialising in Suicide Prevention and Alertness from Australia, spoke in Nadi yesterday.

“We really need to start talking about this topic on suicide, take people seriously who are thinking about suicide,” Ms Hicks said.

“Suicide is a common case that is not only experienced in Fiji but worldwide and many in the society are unaware of how to confront such matters.”

She was speaking at a training session on suicide prevention and alertness at the South Sea Orchids at Nasau in Nadi.

It was organised by the Fiji Alliance for Mental Health (FAMH) and Women of the West (WOW) Business Network.

This training attracted about 40 people from Fiji Police, private sectors, church and women’s organisations.

Ms Hicks said, “It is important that we all know how to talk on the topic of suicide, there have been so much stigmas, shame and taboo that people think about killing themselves.

“Asking someone can be hard to do, but we do not ask then we do not know, and the person with the thought does not speak then it is a fatal combination.”

Liz Morris, Vice President of Women of the West, says this is brought about a good cross-section of the community.

“Generally everyone is interested in suicide prevention because statistics are worse than road death toll.

“It is part of the mental health awareness to lift the profile for the public and hope the people present will have a deeper understanding of this.”

The message is clearly to get people to talk as it is not mental health focussed but for the community at large.

Feedback: sheetalp@fijisun.com.fj

 

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