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.