Victim Support Malta, a local NGO that attends to the emotional support and provision of legal information of all victims of all crime, will soon be launching a service dealing with suicide prevention, and the provision of support to persons who are bereaved by suicide.

Local statistics indicate that 289 suicides have occurred on our island between 2007 and 2017 (Bonnici, 2017). Thus, on average 25 families per year have lost a loved one to suicide.

The WHO reports that an estimated 804,000 individuals commit suicide per year, and that statistic is continuously increasing (WHO, 2014).

Due to the sensitive nature of suicide and the work it entails including different departments, there is a tendency for the act to go under-reported (WHO, 2014).

Staff at VSM feel that something needs to be done about this problem. To date, the organisation has no holistic local service which provides for the needs of persons who have come in touch with suicide, and it is striving to fill that gap.

Board members on Victim Support Malta include Dr Anthony Zahra (psychiatrist), Dr Janice Formosa Pace (criminologist), Julianne Grima (psychotherapist and chairwoman) and Krista Tabone (trainee counsellor and director), who have been working tirelessly on building the proposal, are excited and determined to now set the ball in motion.

“We’re delighted to announce that the Marigold Foundation share our vision and will therefore be supporting us in this venture,” they said.

A team has been identified to receive specialised training within the coming weeks. By December, we will be opening up the service to the public. We will be providing group, individual, and family-based therapy options. Interventions will take place on a case-by-case basis in order to cater to the particular needs of those who reach out for support.

Members of the public are invited to get in touch with VSM via telephone, e-mail or social media should they wish to access this service.


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