Recently Dr. Naomie Jn Baptiste, psychiatrist at the National Mental Wellness Centre, explained the different types of mental illnesses to the public and told them on how to deal with persons experiencing depression.
Dr Jn Baptiste said in general people with mental illness have a change in their behaviour. She noted that people who are close to such individuals, for example, family members, neighbours, friends at school and the teachers observe these differences.
According to the psychiatrist, “these people have to seek help so that they can find out what is happening with their behaviour. For example, if somebody is depressed then they may become withdrawn, like they want to stay by them self.”
Dr. Jn Baptiste appealed to the public to take mental illnesses more seriously as it can pose “a real threat to our society if taken lightly”.
“The problem in general is that people don’t accept mental illness as a form of illness,” said Dr. Jn Baptiste. “If they see somebody is depressed they might say that they can snap out of it; that they’re doing this on purpose and they don’t accept it. People who are depressed and are contemplating suicide sometimes they inform their families about it or their friends, but then they don’t take them seriously because they think depression is something that is not chemical.”
At present Saint Lucia’s suicide rate ranks at 144 in the world.