‘There’s One Suicide Every 36 Hours’

It can be pre­vented and we all need to help, says Pres­i­dent Kon­rote

Fiji Sun - - Nation - ASHNA KU­MAR Feed­back: ashna.ku­mar@fi­jisun.com.fj

Fiji has one at­tempted suicide every 36 hours, says Pres­i­dent Ma­jor-Gen­eral (Ret’d) Jioji Konorote. The Pres­i­dent made the ob­ser­va­tion dur­ing his ad­dress at the Fiji Col­lege of Gen­eral Prac­ti­tion­ers convocation awards night at the Grand Pa­cific Ho­tel on Fri­day. He said most sui­cides each year in­volved some­one with a men­tal health or sub­stance abuse dis­or­der. He said 620 peo­ple in Fiji com­mit­ted suicide over the last five years while 579 peo­ple were re­ported to have at­tempted suicide. “Ev­i­dence shows that treat­ing psy­chosis rapidly not only dra­mat­i­cally im­proves some­one’s chances of re­cov­ery. It could also save the health min­istry, the na­tion, mil­lions of dol­lars in a year in re­duced hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions and as­so­ci­ated costs. “One of the big­gest as­sump­tions most peo­ple make about suicide is that, if some­one is deter­mined to kill him­self, there is ab­so­lutely noth­ing we can do to stop them. Even with the best will in the world if their mind is made up, their death is tragic but in­evitable,” Pres­i­dent Kon­rote said. He said the truth was that sui­cides could be pre­vented with the help of all of us as hu­man be­ings. “To­gether we need to cre­ate a cul­ture in our coun­try where ev­ery­one can talk about his or her men­tal health prob­lems with­out fear, em­bar­rass­ment or judg­ment. And to­day is the day for us to start that con­ver­sa­tion be­cause si­lence costs lives.” Edited by Manasa Kalouniv­iti

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