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Suicides unreported

Mere Naleba
Saturday, June 14, 2014

MOST suicide cases are not being reported because of the shame and stigma associated with it.

Youth Champs for Mental Health (YC4MH) West branch president Lakalaka Saunikalou said 22 per cent of suicide cases were unreported.

"There is always a time lag in the reporting and production of these statistics," Mr Saunikalou said in his presentation on suicide figures in Fiji during the Community Response to Eliminating Suicide (CORES) session.

"Shame and stigma related to suicide, and in general to all forms of mental illnesses, result in suicide often being misreported."

Statistics presented during the workshop showed that between January and June of 2012, 65 people had attempted suicide and 59 had completed suicide.

"Accurate data collection is always a challenge since most suicide cases are written off as being the result of natural deaths because of the stigma associated with those who take their own lives."

For the years 2011 and 2012, the Western Division topped the statistics in those attempting and completing suicide.

In 2011, for the same period of six months, the Western Division recorded 45 people attempting and completing suicide while the Eastern Division had 19 cases, the Central Division had 15 and Northern was at the bottom of the list with 14 cases.

In 2012, Western Division recorded 61 cases of those completing and attempting suicide, a significant increase was noted in the Northern Division when it recorded 26 cases and the Central Division also recorded a slight increase after recording 21 cases while figures for the Eastern Division dropped to 14.

"While the figures for 2012 recorded 59 cases completing suicide for the first six months alone, this rate continues to increase," he said.

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