Fiji Time: 8:00 PM on Sunday 17 December

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Aqela Susu
Thursday, December 07, 2017

SEVENTY-TWO per cent of the 8000 calls received through Lifeline Fiji's helpline last year were men with suicidal ideation.

This was revealed by Lifeline Fiji's programs director Jeremaia Merekula, who said one of the contributing factors to this was that men did not have much help available compared with women.

For this year alone, the non-governmental organisation that works towards achieving a suicide free Fiji has recorded about 6000 calls.

"What we have seen over these two years is that majority of people who have been calling are men. I believe it must be because for women they know that there is help available like the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre where they can go to so they are reaching out to these organisations which are giving them help," Mr Merekula said.

"I think for males, we are privileged at Lifeline Fiji that they are calling us knowing that there is an outlet where they can talk about what they are going through.

"Just recently we have also been receiving a lot of calls from our senior citizens who call just to talk and share about what they are going through on a daily basis."

Apart from this, Mr Merekula said the NGO received at least an average of two calls a day from people on the verge of completing suicide and an average of five to six calls a month from transgender men.

"Most of our callers when they call in they have ideations of suicide. Most of them have relationship problems, family problems, some of them are just going through financial issues, some of them just can't voice out what they are going through because of the community or village they are in."

And with the recent record of Fiji's youngest suicide victim being a seven-year-old girl, Mr Merekula said suicide was impulsive.

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