Local health officials are concerned about the increase in suicide here and are advising persons to seek help from health institutions island-wide.
Consultant Psychiatrist Niomi Jn Baptiste said that while there are a number of reasons why people commit suicide, depression is the number one reason.
Jn Baptiste said “one suicide is too much and one death by suicide is too many”. The psychiatrist said it is very important for people with depression and other mentally related issues to get the help they need.
“Families need to observe their symptoms and take them to an appropriate place for help,” she added.
Jn Baptiste advised that even if the person refuses to go to the National Mental Wellness Centre for whatever reason, they can visit a hospital or health clinic to get counseling.
Once they go for the help they need, they will be referred to an appropriate facility. Treatment and other services are available.
However, Jn Baptiste said that there is stigma attached to people seeking mental treatment, which is why people are afraid to step forward and get help. She said this must not be encouraged.
Meanwhile, Jn Baptiste said the Ministry of Health has been engaged in a lot of work, as it pertains to suicide prevention.
“There are a lot of people who attempt suicide on a weekly basis, they would go to the Victoria Hospital, some of them are admitted and some are treated at outpatient clinics,” she explained.
According to her, there are several signs and symptoms of depression, in which families must take seriously.
Jn Baptiste said once a person starts to shows signs of withdrawal, there is a change in their demeanor, or for some strange reason they suddenly become happy, these are all signs of suicide.
She said a person can also be psychotic. These persons may complain about hearing voices that advises them to hurt or kill themselves. These are also signs linked to suicide.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of Mental Health Services Sharmaine Hippolyte-Thomas, said that counselling and treatment are available for persons suffering from depression or have thoughts of committing suicide.
However, she said families must come forward and get the help they need for their loved ones.
Hippolyte-Thomas said there is a competent team which comprises of: psychiatrists, clinical counselors, social workers, clinical psychologists and trained nurses, that are ready to help individuals and families.