GIS – 10 September 2014: World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) observed on 10 September each year, was marked today by the launching of two pamphlets on the prevention of suicide for parents and the elderly in the presence of the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, Mrs. Sheilabai Bappoo, in Port Louis. The theme for this year is Suicide Prevention: One World Connected.
WSPD was first marked in Mauritius in 2003 and the purpose of this day is to raise awareness that suicide can be prevented. Today’s activities were organised by the Life Plus Unit of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions whose aim is to reduce the suffering of persons with suicidal tendencies and help them live their lives differently by giving them the required support to better handle emotional stress, pain and pressure.
The event aimed at providing opportunities to Government agencies, organisations, and individuals to promote awareness about suicide, mental illnesses associated with suicide, as well as suicide prevention. It is recalled that WSPD is an initiative of the International Association against Suicide Prevention, which, along with the World Health Organisation, plays a key role in promoting this event.
In her address, Minister Bappoo underscored the various events and activities being organised by her Ministry to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death. There are people who feel so low that suicide seems like the only way out but there is always another way - and we can tackle it together, the Minister stressed.
People who are thinking about suicide, she said, have to be told that there is help available at the Ministry or from NGOs. Suicide is complex with psychological, social, biological, cultural and environmental factors involved, recalled Mrs. Bappoo, adding that social isolation can increase the risk of suicide and, conversely, that having strong human bonds can be protective against it.
Reaching out to those who have become disconnected from others and offering them support and friendship may be a life-saving act, she stressed. Consequently, all stakeholders and the society should help to build a connected country where no one is left on his own, said the Minister.
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