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Fiji Time: 6:12 AM on Saturday 19 April

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Counselling recommended

Mere Naleba
Thursday, December 12, 2013

THERE is a place to vent all your anger and issues rather than thinking of committing suicide.

This is the belief of Empower Pacific Labasa branch manager Bimla Madavan who is part of a legal literacy training conducted for counsellors in the organisation.

According to Mrs Madavan, attempted suicide tops all other social issues in Labasa and these are normally youths from the ages of 16 to 35.

She said most of the cases in Labasa dealt with relationship problems based on religion issues.

"Sometimes, the girl can be from a Hindu background and the boy is from a Muslim family. Both parents do not agree on the relationship and this causes sadness to the two courting," she said.

"Other problems can be where children are not able to perform to the expectations of the parents, especially in exam results.

"And there is too much pressure on them that there is a need to perform."

Mrs Madavan said parents who put too much emphasis on education were usually those who add undue pressure to students that they must work hard to provide a better future for the whole family.

"So when children fail in these expectations, they get scared."

Mrs Madavan, who is one of the 11 counsellors who offer their counselling services free, said unemployment was a worrying trend in Vanua Levu.

As an example, she cited religious activities where parents focused their attention at the expense of spending time with their children.

"It is really hard because the numbers keep increasing but we are doing the best that we can and that is creating awareness by providing them with information, their rights, what they can do, how they can report, child's rights, parenting skills, we are doing all this."

Mrs Madavan said the awareness program had taken them to rural areas of Labasa and Savusavu including Buca Bay, Tukavesi as well as primary and secondary schools.