There is hope, there is help. Preventing suicides requires the whole territory working together.
These are some of the messages that speakers at the candlelight ceremony to mark World Suicide Prevention Day shared.
Hosted by the Department of Human and Social Services (DHSS), the ceremony at Lee Auditorium was attended by church ministers, educators, community organizations and students.
According to Acting Director of DHSS, Josephine Lutali, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks suicide as the number two cause of death among 10 to 34 year olds in the US. And according to the most recent Statistical Yearbook for American Samoa , 72 deaths were classified as suicides from 2005 to 2016.
Reverend Iasepi Ulu of the Fagatogo CCCAS had a message for the youth.
Acting Director of DHSS, Ms Lutali highlighted the theme of Suicide Prevention Month, Be The One.
In her keynote address, First Lady Cynthia Malala Moliga called for the attention and action from all sectors of the territory to preventing the loss of lives due to suicide.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Adney Reid, gave a lively presentation on the dos and don’ts of suicide prevention which we’ll report on in later bulletins.
Candles were lit for victims of suicide, their families and those who provide intervention services.