Action Urged on Loss of Young Lives

Statements made in the House and Senate today called attention to the increasing number of young lives lost because of suicide.

Rep Vesi Fautanu Jr and Senator Faamausili Mau Mau Jr said it behooves the Fono to look closely at the alarming trend of suicides among young people and see how the government can help stop what is happening.

Their comments follow on the heels of another suicide death last week.

Senator Faamausili, who chairs the Public Safety Committee said the loss of young lives is a serious matter that cannot be ignored.

“It requires research into why its happening and what can be done to stop it,” he stated during the Senate session this morning.

Faamausili said this was an unusual trend and the Fono must act and come up with ways to help prevent it. He suggested that the Senate Education Committee hold a hearing on the issue.

Witnesses for the hearing which has yet to be scheduled are the Director of Education, Director of Human and Social Services, Commissioner of Public Safety and an official of the LBJ Hospital.

Meanwhile in the House, Rep Vesi Fautanu referred to the spike in suicide incidents as an epidemic.

He said, “We don’t know that the cause is but it needs to be addressed.’

The Manu’a lawmaker said when there’s an opening during the budget hearings, he plans to bring in doctors at LBJ Hospital for a hearing.

Today at Tafuna High School, Pastors David and Debbie Katina spoke to the student body about valuing their lives.

The pastors of Great Life Church imparted the message that life is a gift from God.

L-stands for Life, a lesson you better learn.

I-stands for I am responsible for my Life

F-represents Fight for life don’t give up one your life but fight.

E-should be a reminder that Life is meant to be eternal so don’t cut it short.

The Department of Human and Social Services has been conducting suicide prevention workshops in schools and church youth groups.

It is planning a wave at Utulei Beach tomorrow morning and also a candle light ceremony for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month at Lee Auditorium at 8:00 am Thursday.

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