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HRH Princess Latufuipeka marks World Suicide Prevention Day

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 10/09/2020

HRH Princess Latufuipeka this morning marked World Suicide Prevention Day highlighting the need to look after young people with social problems in order to prevent suicide in Tonga.

In her remarks, HRH says, misusing of the internet and technology, relationship problems and family problems at home – are among the factors of suicide in Tonga – and the need for related stakeholders to address the issue beforehand.

According to statistical data in Tonga, the age group mostly recorded for suicide are from ages 15 to 24, ages 25 to 34 and ages 5 to 14 with young boys the most gender recorded with the highest number of suicides in Tonga.

“We mark world suicide prevention day today by working together and raising awareness worldwide towards commitment and actions to providing suicide. Losing lives to suicide is tragic. Raising awareness connects people making it easier to find help and requires us to play pivotal roles and responsibilities in providing support. Suicide is preventable – and observing World Suicide Prevention Day today allows us to make better and ambitious plans. My sincere gratitude to all development partners and stakeholders for your contributions towards suicide awareness and prevention.”

Meanwhile, a representative from the WHO in Tonga – Dr. Yutaro Setoya talked about a survey they carried out with the Ministry of Health in 2017 known as “Mental Health in the general population” which was funded by the WHO in partnership with the French government.

“From the result of this survey, we learnt that two out of ten Tongan adults do suffer from various mental health problems, at least 20 percent of the adult population. About 10 percent of the people have some sort of mood disorders including depression and bipolar disorders. People with mood disorder has high risk of committing suicide so this is of a concern. Eight percent have severe anxiety and just over six percent of the people had alcohol use-related problems. We also found that two percent from the adult population had risk of suicide. This is the result from interviewing over 900 adults in Tongatapu.”

The theme of the program for this year is – “Working together to prevent suicide”.

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