Fijians of Indian descent top suicide statistics

Suva, Sep 10 (IANS) The majority of suicide cases involving Fijian children are among those of Indian descent, The Fiji Times Online reported on Thursday, citing the ministry of education.

According to the report, Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy has expressed concern over the increasing cases of suicide by children.

“There needs to be an investigation… Everyone here is important — the parents, the school,” Reddy was quoted as saying.

He added that introducing a law to control the abuse of volatile substance that leads to death may help in bringing down suicide cases among children.

The Draft Volatile Substance Abuse Decree, spearheaded by the national substance abuse advisory council, could not proceed in 2013 due to constitutional requirements.

Under the draft decree, those wholesalers and retailers who are found selling banned substances to children under the age 18 can be punished.

“Yes, I believe by legalising the decree it can help decrease suicide but we need to look at other factors concerning the reasons why children abuse these substances,” Reddy said.

Fiji records an average of 120 deaths every year from suicide.

According to Odille Chang, president of the Fiji Alliance for Mental Health, from January 2012 to July 2015, 422 suicides were recorded in the country compared to 170 deaths by road accidents during the same time period.

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