3 Feb 2012

Cooks youth suicide rate alarms minister

4:55 pm on 3 February 2012

The Cook Islands health minister, Nandi Glassie, says more needs to be done at a governmental level and in the home to tackle suicide among young people.

Mr Glassie says the Cook Islands must tackle suicide as a nation, by bringing in better legislation for mental health, introducing more funding for psychological and mental health care, and becoming more open to discussing the topic in the home.

The minister has called on parents to be more aware of the problem of suicide, more open to discussions with their children and more empathetic to their troubles.

He says the level of suicide is very alarming for him and the government.

He says he was dismayed to hear a 16-year-old Rarotongan youth had killed himself last weekend, just one week after another 16-year-old girl had done so.