The World Suicide Prevention day is an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), which, along with the World Health Organisation (WHO), play a key role for this event. The World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on 10 September each year. The theme for this year’s event is “Preventing Suicide: Reaching out and Saving Lives”.
In this context, an official function was held at the Municipal City Council of Port Louis comprising a presentation by the Mauritius Research Council on the findings and recommendations of a “Study on the Causes and Consequences of Suicidal Behaviour among Teenagers in Mauritius”. A Leaflet for Teenagers was also launched. “Suicide concerns each one of us. It concerns the society at large. It is a call for help. It is high time that we realize that each one of us has a role to play in combating suicide”, declared Hon (Mrs) Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions.
A number of youth organisations and youth leaders were invited to attend the function (Lions Club, Rotary, YUVA- Youth United in Voluntary Action, and Youth Network). They will be called upon to assist in the sensitisation of our youngsters and to take an active part in the suicide prevention strategy of the Ministry.
A Steering Committee has been set up comprising the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions (Chairperson), the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, the Minister of Health and Quality of Life and the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare to look into the recommendations of the Survey.
In Mauritius, the suicide rate is around 6 per 100,000 people annually. Suicide does not only impact on the life of the individual concerned but it also has a ripple effect on the lives and mental health of many families and the community as a whole.
Life Plus unit operates a confidential 24 hour hotline service “188” available and accessible to any person who is undergoing suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Life
Plus is actively engaged in the prevention of suicide at three distinctive levels: firstly primary level consisting of the promotion of Positive and Healthy Living; secondly the secondary level which involves the carrying out of awareness campaigns on Stress and Stress Management; and finally the tertiary level which consists of explaining to people the mechanism of suicide, the ways to identify people having suicidal tendencies and actions to be taken to prevent these people from ultimately committing suicide.