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Depression cited as common cause among young

By Gina Maka’a

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Nov. 13, 2008) - Psychiatrist, Dr Paul Orotaloa of the Acute Mental Health Unit, said that suicide cases in the Solomon Islands have increased to levels not seen before.

Although the exact statistics were not available, Dr. Orotaloa says that "a very high number of most of these suicide, and attempted suicide cases, are among young people."

Orotaloa said that from what they could ascertain, it appears that most of these suicide cases occur either because of an argument or a misunderstanding, and others due to depression.

Orotaloa also encourages young people who suffer from depression to seek help. "One way of overcoming depression is by attending one of our awareness talks...or through a private consultation with an elder in the community or a church pastor."

According to research, suicide occurs in persons of all ages and backgrounds, but certain groups of people are at increased risk for suicide attempts. These include persons with a psychiatric illness and a past history of attempted suicide. Males are more likely than females to commit suicide, although attempts are more common among females.

Warning signs of suicide are varied. They may include:

Talk of, or preoccupation with, suicide or death; threatening suicide; writing about death or suicide

Orotaloa has advised that if you suspect suicidal thoughts in yourself or anyone, seek professional help immediately at the National Referral Hospital.

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