25 Nov 2004

Samoa child's advocate concerned about pressures on families

1:18 pm on 25 November 2004

A children's rights advocate in Samoa says overwhelming social and cultural family pressures can lead to suicide.

Investigations are continuing into an alleged murder suicide involving a family of four in Aleisa.

Toleafoa Afamasaga Fa'amatala, who is also a member of a non-government organisation on suicide prevention, says compared to the rest of the world, the rate of suicide in Samoa is high.

He says there are family and church commitments to be met, which often entail huge financial pressures.

Toleafoa says there are not many options for help outside of the village and church.

"There are no other institutions to turn too. The church plays a role, but really on the spiritual side. And we're really dealing with straightforward economic pressures here.... Its hard to know."

Toleafoa says there need to be more institutions and NGO's which can offer support for families in need.