20 Feb 2012

24-hour suicide helpline considered in Cook Islands

6:51 am on 20 February 2012

Around the clock support via a telephone helpline is being investigated as a tool for addressing suicide in the Cook Islands.

The Celebration on the Rock Church and a newly-formed government-affiliated committee are both looking at the possibility of establishing a 24-hour helpline.

Jonathan Cargill from the church says it would offer advice to people who are desperate.

"We're investigating that now, it does require a definite skill base, time and effort. I think at the end of the day a telephone 24 hour kind of involvement monitoring is good but what we're seeking to do as an organisation is get to the root, why an earth would a teenager decide to kill himself."

Jonathan Cargill says broken relationships and a general sense of helplessness as a result of the economy are common factors behind youth suicide on the islands.