Despite its importance, mental health, unfortunately, is often overlooked, not given priority or provided the necessary level of support it needs to assist those combating this issue in silence or creating greater awareness of its existence in society.
Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Dr William May, speaking during the World Mental Health Day (WMHD) celebrations at the Pasifika Campus, said mental health affects everyone either in their personal or professional lives.
He said given the significance of this issue, CMNHS ensures that Mental Health is covered in its study program to ensure students are familiar of the signs and how to assist people who battle some degree of mental stress.
“Mental health affects our physical health and vice versa, and it is important for everyone’s well-being and function,” said Dr May.
“This day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders on mental health issues to talk about their work and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide,” he added.
Former mental health advocate and former Minister for Health and Medical Services, Pita Nacuva, said suicide was a tragedy.
“The impact on families, friends and communities is devastating and far-reaching, even long after loved ones have taken their lives,” he said.
According to the former speaker of the parliament, despite increased research and knowledge about suicide and its prevention, the taboo and stigma surrounding the issue persisted and often people did not seek help or were left alone.
“We can all play a part in reducing statistics in Fiji by simply being more aware, more supportive and knowing where to find more help,” Nacuva commented.
Global statistics show that the world loses one person every 40 seconds from suicide.