An NGO working to prevent suicides in Samoa says a deteriorating society focussed on materialism and greed is causing people to take their own lives.
In a presentation to the National Commission of Inquiry into Family Violence, Fa'ataua Le Ola, testified that domestic violence was a major cause of suicide among young Samoans.
The NGO's president, Papali'i Carol Paul-Ah Chong, said this was partly because Samoa is drifting away from its Christian roots.
She was also critical of the practice of giving huge sums of money, which families often cannot afford, to cultural and church events.
She said this becomes a major burden on families and can end up stoking domestic violence.
"We do not like to upset the status quo so we continue on sweeping everything under the carpet, hoping our problems might just kresolve themselves and disappear. Hello Samoa, wake up before it is too late. We need to get back to basics. We need to clean up Samoa and rid it of materialism and the desires of the flesh."