Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Suicide Prevention is Everybody's Business in Every Society

by Foundation Awit

The recent death of a college freshman due to suicide is indeed a sad news. Any death due to suicide is alarming. For every suicide death, there are scores of family and friends whose lives are devastated emotionally, socially and economically.

Suicide is a huge but highly preventable public health problem. (WHO, 2007) Suicidal behaviors are complex - ranging from suicidal ideas to planning and attempting suicide and ultimately, suicide itself. They are influenced by biological, psychological, social, environmental and situational factors.

Since suicidal behavior is multifactorial, we can not attribute a suicide death to a single clear and identifiable cause. While we believe that the University of the Philippines should review its policies on admission and tuition, we can not continue to capitalize on the death of a student to push the administration to do so. We must be careful not to glorify the suicide death for this cause. This is not to mean too that we dismiss the incident. This event should make us think of other ways to prevent suicide deaths more in a more coordinated, intersectoral and scientific approach. Whatever happened to the Senate Bill No. 1946 or Student Suicide Prevention Act of 2005 entitled An Act to Empower the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to require all the school heads to report all incidents of student suicide in their respective schools, whether consummated, frustrated or attempted, and to provide a program for student suicide early intervention and prevention?

Had there been clear available and accessible services in place that are known to students, the recent suicide deaths and the many others in the recent years could have been prevented. Suicide prevention is everyone’s business in every society.

Suicide First Aid Guidelines for the Philippines can be downloaded from www.foundationawit.com. Hard copies of the guidelines may be requested from foundation.awit@gmail.com. If you or anyone you know is thinking about suicide, you may call 804 4673 or 0917 558 4673

Reposted here with permission from Vim Nadera.

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