Connecting with youth about hope, life

By Sandra Nauth 08 September 2016, 12:00AM

‘Connect, Communicate, Care’ is this year’s message going out to the world on Saturday 10 September, World Suicide Prevention Day.

Papali’i Carol Paul Ah Chong, the C.E.O. of Faataua Le Ola (F.L.O.) said there have been a wide range of activities this week leading up to Saturday.

“The whole week is focused on suicide awareness and suicide prevention, culminating in the global World Suicide Prevention Day (W.S.P.D.) as the finale which takes place on Saturday,” said Papali’i.

During the week, F.L.O. will be selling yellow/orange ribbons for a 2 tala gold coin to the public.

On Friday, the organization will be going out to schools, to read a message of hope and life in both English and Samoan. 

“The message is about valuing one’s life and it specially targets to the young people since they are an endangered group,” said Papali’i 

On Saturday, the W.S.P.D., all Lifeline International Members are coming together all over the world, to celebrate this day. Some media people will connect to the outside world and also show them what Samoa is doing about this sensitive and important topic.

At 7 a.m. everyone is invited to meet at the Fire Station compound. 

There will then be a parade, led by the Saleilua School from Poutasi, down Beach Road to the Clock Tower then assembling in front of the Government Building. 

“We hope that people will wear those colours so the whole parade will be yellow and orange. “Everyone is invited to join,” she said 

A committee will hit the streets with yellow/orange ribbons as well as yellow/orange balloons.

From 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. there will be a live broadcast on TV3. Many TV channels will link up with TV3, so there will be a switch from one country to the other, showing clips from the past with interviews of people who either lost somebody by suicide or people who attempted suicide.

In the evening at 6 p.m. the committee, staff and the volunteers will congregate at the beachfront for a candlelight service near the wharf. 

Before it gets dark, people are invited to read a poem, write a love letter to someone who passed away because of suicide or read a message of hope. 

“So it will be a memory to those who lost their lives because of a suicide.” 

To everyone who will be at there, a candle will be given which will be lit and then put out in the water to let it float away. 

“This signifies hope and life and a message to everyone to light your candle and let your life shine so that everyone can see it.” 

It will be also a message of love and remembrance for those who have passed on.

This will be the culmination of a significant day for all of the world as well as for our society.

So the message is, come and join the World Suicide Prevention Day this Saturday, 10th of September, to demonstrate that life is worth living and full of hope, confidence and happiness. 

“The statistics confirm that we are on the right track with what we do,” said Papali’i, “since the rate of suicide in Samoa has decreased markedly in the past years.”

By Sandra Nauth 08 September 2016, 12:00AM

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