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Suicide is a major public health concern for Fiji

September 8, 2015 4:55 am

The President of the Fiji Alliance for Mental Health, Dr Odille Chang says suicide is a major Public Health concern for the country.

Dr Chang presented the latest statistics and information regarding the ‘Importance of Mental Health and Burden of Mental Disorders and Suicide’ to the Prime Minister of Fiji Voreqe Bainimarama and other Government Ministers.

’they’re very shocking, like I said, January 2012 to July 2015, 422 deaths by suicide compared to 170 deaths by Road traffic accidents for the same time period and yet we’re considering road traffic accident deaths as a major epidemic, yet in that three and a half year time period, we’re seeing 120 suicides every year, in 2012 Ministry of Health figures showed deaths by suicide were six and half times the number of the combined total deaths dengue, typhoid and HIV/Aids, again epidemics in our country’.

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Dr Chang said one of the aims of the workshop was to inform members of parliament about the types of mental health issues that their constituents would be facing.

Her presentation touched on Mental Health in Fiji – budgetary needs for operational costs, the Gap in Treatment in Fiji, the economic and social costs of mental disorders and where Fiji stands in the progressing with handling mental health cases.

World Suicide Prevention Day will be celebrated on Thursday at Sukuna Park in Suva.

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