Campaign to raise awareness on suicide, mental illness

Fa’ataua o le Ola (F.L.O.) launched their “Walk for Life” campaign at Vaoala yesterday.

The campaign focuses on not only raising money to keep the organisation operational, but to also raise awareness about various issues affecting our society such as suicide.

In a press conference, Board Chairman Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale announced that the campaign is also dedicated to the late Hans Joachim Keil, also known as Joe Keil. 

Tuatagaloa said Mr. Keil was the founding member of F.L.O.

“At the time of his passing, he held the position of co-patron of Faataua le Ola together with Misa Telefoni Retzlaff,” he said. 

“He was a dedicated member of F.L.O. and he was instrumental in its reformation in 2012.

“He was an advocate for helping others and secretly reached out to many people in need. He was instrumental in the formation of many F.L.O’s outreach programmes to church, communities and colleges.”

Tuatagaloa also acknowledged the presence of Joe’s wife, Celine Keil and his son Nathan Keil during the launch.

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He said F.L.O. is the only non-government organisation that deals specifically with the issue of suicide, suicide awareness and prevention.

“We work with individuals who suffer from mental anguish and depression due to many and varied social issues and conditions,” he said.

“Our service is free of charge and we offer troubled individuals a lifeline through our Samoa lifeline 24/7 phone counselling service.”

Tuatagaloa said this is the eighth year they’ve been running the campaign to raise the much needed awareness about the very real issues of suicide and mental illness that plaque our society.

“It is Samoa’s largest event of its kind and participants from all sectors of the community turn up to walk.

“By collecting proceeds for the walk and walking with us, people are given the opportunity to help our fellow countrymen who are in distress.”

Tuatagaloa said the Samoan community plays a vital role in helping them achieve their suicide awareness and prevention campaign in the grassroots level.

“This is why we humbly seek your support in whatever way possible, be financial, in kind, participating in the walk or volunteering of your time to help.

“The majority of our community lives comfortable and profitable lives and reap the benefits of living in a tropical paradise.

“However there is the minority, the marginalised who are out there suffering, and these people are crying out and reaching out for help and they are not being heard. This is why it is so very important that Faataua le Ola’s work continues.

“So please come and support us.” 

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