IT is about time that people break the culture of silence and bridge the communication gap between young people and their elders.
Vodafone Hibiscus Festival king contestant Frincos Solomone Rabuli sponsored by Frincos Hire Fiji Limited said the increase in the number of suicide cases in Fiji was the result of the culture of silence.
For someone who has witnessed two separate suicides incidents in his family, the issue is something Mr Rabuli has always wanted to address because of its devastating effects.
The 22-year-old student of FNU said two of his cousins committed suicide over the past three years as a result of the culture of silence within their families.
"Communication within family members is vital so they can better understand each other," Mr Rabuli said.
"The Hibiscus Festival will be the right opportunity to take his message across to the people of all ages.
"We need to work together and tackle this issue.
"What is more alarming is the devastating effect suicide leaves behind on relatives and friends."
Originally from Soso in Kadavu, Mr Rabuli said young people should be given the chance to voice their opinion so parents could understand how to approach their children when situations arise.
He thanked his sponsors, parents and friends for their support and hoped he could make a difference during the week-long festival.