Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Suicide Attempts In Fiji Have Doubled Since 2011
Authorities urge people to seek help, ask public for compassion

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Nov. 19, 2012) – Fiji's suicide numbers are up almost 200 percent this year, with 105 people taking their lives compared to 36 last year.

Figures released by the Fiji Police Force also show there were 125 attempted suicides this year compared to 96 last year.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro urged anyone feeling down or depressed to seek help from religious organizations or social groups for assistance and counseling.

Naisoro also asked family members to be more understanding and compassionate towards each other’s problems and situations.

In the latest cases, a student and a woman tried to kill themselves in separate cases. The student tried to take her own life due to concerns about her examination results, and the woman ingested chemicals after a dispute with her de-facto husband.

The statistics show 67 males have taken their lives to date this year compared to 31 last year while 38 females committed suicide compared to five last year.

Sixty males and 65 females attempted to suicide this year compared to the 53 male and 43 female cases registered last year.

Naisoro said suicides are becoming a great concern as to why people no longer feel they have anyone else to turn to about their problems and are resorting to taking their own lives.

"The stats show how serious suicide and attempted suicide cases have been for the year and our concern is that we are nearing a period where these cases may increase," she said.

"This is due to the demands that may be placed on individuals either, socially, economically or on a professional level."

"Students in particular are a vulnerable group with external and annual examinations coming to an end. Therefore parents and guardians are being advised not to place too many expectations on their child’s performance in school and be more understanding to their needs."

"Majority of the cases also have been a result of romantic and domestic disputes stemming from issues that can easily be solved through dialogue."

"If people feel that they have no one else to turn to within their family circle, we are urging them to seek help from religious organizations or social groups that can provide some assistance."

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