Suicide Prevention And Support Service In Malta To Be Launched This Year

NGO will offer support to people who are bereaved by suicide

Bongu Hi Orrajt 2 9

Victim Support Malta (VSM) will be launching a new service to help tackle suicide prevention. The local NGO is also set out to offer support to people who are bereaved by suicide.

Dubbed as SPOT (Suicide Prevention, Outreach, and Therapeutic Services), its proposition is being worked on by VSM board members including director Krista Tabone, chairperson Julianne Grima, criminologist Dr. Janice Formosa Pace and psychiatrist Dr. Anthony Zahra. The Marigold Foundation also share this vision and will be supporting the NGO in this venture.

"We are really trying to take suicide as a phenomena and tackle it from all aspects which it causes harm to people and the impact it leaves on friendships and relationships too," Krista Tabone told Lovin Malta.

A worrying local statistic states that between 2007 and 2017, a total of 289 suicides occurred on the island, amounting to an average of 25 families per year affected by suicide.

WHO reported in 2014 that an estimate of 804,000 people from around the world commit suicide yearly, a number which according to the organisation is continuously on the rise.

SPOT is the result of the numerous calls VSM received from people who were bereaved by suicide, and that no service was available on the island to support the family and friends of a victim.

"Victim Support Malta feel that something needs to be done about this problem. To date, we have no holistic local service which provides for the needs of persons who have come in touch with suicide, and we're striving to fill that gap," a spokesperson for the NGO said.

This service will be opened to the general public by December 2018, but in the meantime, VSM members will be receiving specialised training to provide proper support for the victims. Family, individual and group therapy options will also be available, along with interventions.

SPOT will also be offering a safe space for those who have had suicide attempts in the past. Support groups will also be available for individuals who can speak about their experiences with other survivors.

Members of the general public are invited to get in touch with VSM via telephone, email or social media if they wish to access this service.

You can contact Victim Support Malta by calling them on 21 228 333 or by clicking here.

Donations to Victim Support Malta can be made by sending an SMS on the following numbers:

  • 50617313: €2.33
  • 50617916: €4.66
  • 50619246: €11.65

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Written By

Chiara Micallef