Welcoming our Newest Member; Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG)

  • Welcoming our Newest Member;                  Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) image

4 June 2024

We are excited to welcome our newest Member of LifeLine International – Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG). Established in 2005, they stand as a beacon of hope for people in crisis in Samoa, playing a critical role in providing a 24-hour telephone counselling service. SVSG is committed to providing personalised and professional crisis support services to those in need and to care for, support and empower victims of crime.

Initially focused on assisting survivors of crime, SVSG quickly recognised the need to extend its services. Today, the organisation embraces victims of all forms of violence and those experiencing mental health crisis, ensuring they receive the support they need. This includes providing resources and assistance for suicide prevention, mental health awareness, and emotional well-being.

President and Founding Member, Siliniu Lina Chang says “becoming a Member of LifeLine International opens up new opportunities for SVSG. The network provides a vital platform for improving and scaling up suicide prevention services both locally and internationally. SVSG’s 24/7 free Helpline and community-based awareness programs, led by trained village representatives, play a crucial role in this effort.”

“The opportunity for capacity building, networking, and global discussions on suicide prevention as a public health priority is one of the benefits of being a member of LifeLine International, which SVSG is looking forward to.”

With a population of just over 200,000, Samoa faces unique challenges in suicide prevention. Cultural values and Christian beliefs shape the community’s response and SVSG’s case management experience reveals that many forms of violence and stigma around mental health, are common contributing factors for those in crisis. This is why SVSG works with community leaders, to train them as first responders, and also collaborates effectively with the Ministry of Police.

“The culture of silence surrounding suicide is gradually changing but suicide does not discriminate, it affects men, women, youth, even children,” says Siliniu. Community awareness initiatives highlight available support services, including the 24/7 Helpline.

After 19 years of service, SVSG has earned the community’s trust. People now come forward without shame or discrimination, seeking counselling and support. SVSG’s dedication to saving lives remains unwavering and LifeLine International looks forward to working together to support the Samoan community.

For more information, visit SVSG’s official website here: https://svsg.org.ws/