Saying no to suicide and drugs

Say no to suicide and drugs.’ That was the theme of an event involving the Catholic Church from the Matagaluega Apia in Samoa last weekend.

Groups from Matautu and Leonē, Saint Anthony, Vaimoso and Samalage and Aiga Paia took part.

They took part in a dance and singing competition.

But Father Losi Numia said the event was not about who wins.

What the church wanted was to promote the understanding about the impact of drugs and suicide on families, churches, and the whole country.

“We’re talking about the importance of learning to say no to drugs and suicide,” he said.

“It’s a way of delivering the message to these young ones especially our youth that suicide is not the answer.

“There are people out there that each and everyone of us can share with if we need help…most importantly, don’t forget to pray.”

On Wednesday Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, led a crowd of 200 enthusiastic walkers through the heart of Apia in support of the Fa’ataua La Ola (F.L.O) organisation’s annual event, Walk for Life 2016.

The event certainly was a celebration of life, with a glorious sunrise, the music of the Samoa Police Band and the happy faces of the students from Loto Taumafai School supporting the walkers.

In 2014, statistics showed that in Samoa the rate of suicides reached up to 30 out of every 100,000 inhabitants – with an undefined but even higher rate being among young people.

Suicide rates in the Pacific Islands are some of the highest in the world and have reached up to 30 per 100,000 in countries such as Samoa, Guam and Micronesia, double the global average, with youth rates even higher according to a 2014  report in the Inter Press News Agency

The Pacific Islands has an escalating youth population, with 54 percent of people in the region now aged below 24 years and those aged 15-29 years are at the greatest risk of taking their lives, according to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

 

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