Opinion

Another Step in Suicide Prevention Work

The following is Minister Koya’s address at the FMA cheque handover to Lifeline Fiji at Maui Bay, Sigatoka yesterday.     Chairperson Lifeline Fiji, Ms Tiriseyani Naulivou Central Bikers Lead,
06 Feb 2017 11:09
Another Step in Suicide Prevention Work

The following is Minister Koya’s address at the FMA cheque handover to Lifeline Fiji at Maui Bay, Sigatoka yesterday.

 

 

Chairperson Lifeline Fiji, Ms Tiriseyani Naulivou

Central Bikers Lead, Mr Rodney Ford

Western Bikers Lead, Mr Amish Patel

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all,

I am delighted to be here to be part of this morning’s auspicious handover event.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today’s handover is a significant milestone. It is part of the Fiji Motorcyclist Association commitment towards suicide prevention in our country and the exciting journey ahead, for Lifeline Fiji and the Association.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Suicide is a leading cause of death around the world and Fiji has topped the Pacific making it the leading cause of death, four times more than the road death toll.

When compared to the same period last year, there were five suicide cases reported, but today we have seven.

These figures indicate the increase of suicide cases in Fiji, thus the importance of working together as a community to prevent this social ill. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Fiji Motorcycling Association was formed to raise awareness on safety for its members and a form of social camaraderie of motorcyclists and their families in Fiji.

However, with suicide claiming more lives and faster than the road death toll, the Association saw the need to also create awareness on suicide prevention, especially when in every 36 hours a Fijian attempts to take his or her life and the youngest being an eight-year-old.

And as an enthusiastic biker myself, I am happy to participate in this good course and encourage all bikers to do the same.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In 2016, Lifeline Fiji reached out to approximately 15,000 people.

However, with FMA’s commitment this year, Lifeline Fiji aims to increase this, nation-wide.

Also last year, Lifeline Fiji through their Crisis Line, received 5687 calls from those who needed assistance, 80 per cent of which were male callers.

These callers were facing difficulties and hardships which were becoming overwhelming and unbearable at times.

I would like to remind us all that having suicidal thoughts can happen to anyone, men included.

One must understand that men are not defined by how strong they can be, by not showing emotions and not asking for help.

Let me remind you that real men care about their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of their loved ones.

Masculinity should not be a barrier of expressing oneself to another and we must continually remind one another that life is for living.

I therefore would like to inspire and encourage our menfolk to talk about how they feel to those they trust and not be ashamed to ask for help.

Ladies and gentlemen,

At this juncture, I would like to congratulate Lifeline Fiji for the superb work done, despite the hardships faced.

Without a doubt, your good work will not go in vain and will most certainly benefit a lot of Fijians.

The event today itself is a proof of how suicide prevention in our country is dear to your heart and I encourage you to continue the good work and go the extra mile if you have to.

I have high hopes for what you will go on to accomplish and I ask that you take full advantage of the opportunity given, for the good of our fellow Fijians who would need your assistance and guidance.

With those words, it gives me great pleasure to now officially handover the cheque to the chairperson of Lifeline Fiji Ms Tiriseyani Naulivou.

Thank you and vinaka vakalevu.

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