Forum Held To Combat High Suicide Rate On Guam

162

Guam- Guam Police says an 18 year old young man shot and killed himself Monday night in the Gill Breeze subdivision in Yigo. It is the latest in what has become an epidemic of suicides on Guam.

A group of church leaders and professional gathered for a roundtable discussion Tuesday in an effort to help put a stop the suicides.

It was held at the Yona Redemptoris Mater Seminary by the Blessed Diego Luis De San Vitores Catholic Theological Institute. Various guest speakers honed in on the sociological, philosophical and anthropological views with suicide, as well as current statistics and a theological approach. Lifeworks Executive Director Marie Halloran says she conducted over 200 interventions so far. While she recognizes the subject is difficult to discuss with those from conservative or strict backgrounds, she stresses it’s time to talk about suicide and how to prevent it.

“I know if my parents were alive and if I talk about suicide, they probably will get mad at me” said Hollaran. “But we can no longer hide in our little refuge and say it’s not going on. It is going on”

Suicide is the 5th leading cause of death on Guam, which is an average rate of 24 suicide deaths per year. In fact, the island’s 2009 suicide rate is over 50 % higher than the U.S. average, also considered a “public health crisis”. In addition, 60% of all suicide deaths occur with those under 30. For more on suicide prevention, log on to www.peaceguam.org .