NATION

‘Suicide Is A Tragedy’

Suicide is a tragedy, says the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Jone Usamate. “The impact on families, friends and communities is devastating and far reaching, even long after loved
11 Sep 2015 12:39
‘Suicide Is A Tragedy’
Minister for Health Jone Usamate (with necktie), and Speaker to Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni lead the World Suicide Prevention Day march in Suva yesterday. Photo: Rama

Suicide is a tragedy, says the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Jone Usamate.

“The impact on families, friends and communities is devastating and far reaching, even long after loved ones have taken their lives,” Mr Usamate said.

He made the comment during the World Suicide Prevention Day celebration at Ratu Sukuna Park, Suva, yesterday.

“Today is not only a sad day that we remember those whom we have lost to suicide because they found life too intolerable, but it is also a day to celebrate,” he said.

“The world recognises that suicide is a serious problem and is taking steps towards finding more ways to stop this tragic death. Suicidal behaviour indicates deep unhappiness, but not necessarily a mental disorder.

“Many people living with mental disorders are not affected by suicidal behaviour and not all people who take their own lives have a mental disorder.

“It is shocking that as of July 2012 to July 2015, a total of 422 deaths were by suicide compared to 161 road traffic deaths for the same period.”

He said an average of 120 suicide deaths happen every year and suicide was among the three leading causes of death in the 15 – 24 age group.

“We could say that there are many reasons. Generally someone who attempts or commits suicide does not have any hope for the future or that their situation can improve.

“The shame of a perceived failure or mistake for the family, community or individual may feel overwhelming. Despite an increase in research and knowledge about suicide and its prevention, the taboo and stigma surrounding suicide persists and often people do not seek help or are left alone.”

Mr Usamate said members of the public could help prevent suicide by being aware and offering help to people who need assistance.

“To make big changes, we need champions. Let’s try to be champions against stigma. Let’s not join in the mockery or bullying of unfortunate people. Let’s say that it is time that we treat people better than we do now.

“Every school, workplace and church should be talking about mental health and suicide prevention. We can listen to each other. Not everyone can be a counsellor, but everyone can be a helper,” he said.

Feedback: shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj

 




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