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Depression amongst highest cause of suicide by Pacific people in New Zealand

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 02/09/2019

The world is united on helping those suffering from depression battle against it as this is one of the main causes of suicide in New Zealand by Pacific people including Tongans.

This was discussed during the one-week United Global Mental Health Campaign held in Indonesia last week.

Attending this meeting was the President of Tonga Mental Health Association – Dr Leonaitasi Hoponoa and Lord Tu’iha’ateiho.

Dr Leonaitasi Hoponoa says, the aim of the campaign is to help those with depression “speak their mind” and to be heard by those they share their problems to in order to be healed immediately.

Depression, according to Dr Hoponoa is created by the feeling of hurt and despair over the loss of something precious even the loss of loved ones. This, in turn, causes those with depression to commit suicide.

With depression cases in Tonga, it is hard to identify those with depression because of the culture and the attitude of “shyness” which holds someone back from sharing their problems or wanting to be heard.

Dr Hoponoa says that depression is a global issue, and therefore the government are looking into implementing ways to address the issue.

Tonga is putting a special emphasis on the issue and will host “Global Mental Health Day” next month.

Global Mental Health Day is marked on the 10th of October every year.

© Radio and Television Tonga News