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EDITORIAL: Let’s Act To Stop This Unnecessary Loss Of Young Innocent Lives

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday highlighted that child and youth suicide was a national crisis. We as a nation should act decisively and prevent more cases from happening. The fact
11 Sep 2015 12:08
EDITORIAL: Let’s Act To Stop This Unnecessary Loss Of Young Innocent Lives

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday highlighted that child and youth suicide was a national crisis. We as a nation should act decisively and prevent more cases from happening.

The fact that our young people are prominent in the suicide statistics is alarming.

When the young are not afraid to take their own lives, it shows a serious disconnect with their families, schools, churches and communities. The increasing number of youth suicides is a disturbing trend throughout the world.

Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. More Japanese school pupils commit suicide on September 1 each year than on any other date, according to figures collated by Japan’s suicide prevention office over a period of more than 40 years. The incidents are linked to the typical start date of the new school term after the summer holiday has ended. Bullying has been identified as a cause.

Victims chose suicide than return to school. There are other reasons too like pressure of exams and peer pressure.

It’s a grave concern that of the 89 suicides in Fiji so far this year, 10 of these were of children under the age of 16. Another 20 young people between the ages of 17 and 25 also took their own lives.

So 30 suicides of people under the age of 25 in just eight months.

Of the 80 attempted suicides in Fiji over the same period, seven of these involved children under the age of 16 and another 35 were aged between 17 and 25. Mr Bainimarama is right when he says it’s a national crisis.

It needs the attention of everyone. Like we have repeatedly said in this column before, it should start with the family in the home.

It’s the parents’ God-given responsibilities to take care of their children’s needs from birth until they become adults and independent. Schools, churches and other institutions are support services.

Many young children who are well grounded with good counsel from home often succeed in life. It is time we reinforce the  values that have stood the test of time in the homes against some of the modern competing values that have brought pain, grief and despair to many people.

We cannot completely shift the responsibility and blame to schools and churches. They have their role to play and that is to reinforce what is taught.

The core problem is that we are not talking to these children more and listening to their  feelings and views. Even in our busy schedules, we must still find the time to communicate with our children. We cannot afford to leave them to their own devices.

Some of the symptoms of suicide tendencies can be detected or diagnosed early if that communication channel is always open.

In homes where children are afraid to talk about their problems, there is a help line. All they have to do is call free 1325.

Let’s all get behind Mr Bainimarama and back his campaign. We must stop this unnecessary loss of young innocent lives.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatikifijisun.com.fj

 

 

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