Guam suicide rate exceeds national average - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam suicide rate exceeds national average

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The island's suicide epidemic was the focus of Speaker Judi Won Pat's Weekly Radio Address. According to the stats for 2009, Guam's suicide rate was 50% higher than the national average. Last year 30 deaths were from suicide and this year, so far there have been seven cases, four of which were 16-year-olds.

"It is clear that more must be done: we must build the awareness of this growing problem; we as community must develop a better understanding of this social ill; and we must identify more professionals who are available to assist in prevention," the speaker noted.

Aside from a recent roundtable the speaker held on this topic, she will be calling a joint oversight hearing with Health Committee chair Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. The speaker is hoping to bring government agencies together to produce a strategic framework and plan to optimally serve our island's at-risk population.

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