Saint Lucia held September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. (Picture courtesy- Google)

Saint Lucia marked September as suicide prevention month

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The government of Saint Lucia held an initiative last month to spread awareness on suicide prevention. The key point of this programme was, Suicide is preventable, and everyone has a role to play in creating healthy and strong individuals, families and communities.

The Employee Assistance Programme Unit (EAP) shared one fact about suicide prevention every day in the month of September.

EAP is the Department of Public Service that aims to highlight the issues associated with Suicide and other mental health challenges.

“We hope to help educate public officers and the wider society on the importance of being vigilant and playing a role in the prevention of suicide”.

One can get help by calling the suicide hotline 203 if they’re having any thoughts of Suicide.

 Agenda of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month:

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. All the prevention organizations, mental health advocates, survivors, allies and community members united to promote suicide prevention awareness.

Barriers to social awareness of Suicide:

  1. Key evidence-based suicide prevention measures include restricting access to means for suicide, mental health and alcohol reduction policies. There is a need to promote responsible media reporting on Suicide.
  2. Lack of awareness and social stigma remain major barriers to help-seeking for Suicide.

Signs and impacts of Suicide:

  • Suicide and suicide- attempts not only affect the individuals but also result in the terrifying conditions of their families, societies and communities.
  • Talking about Suicide or killing oneself is the immediate warning of Suicide. The risk of Suicide can be significantly elevated in the people who abuse alcohol and drugs.
  • Feeling trapped, empty, alone and having no desire to live are all immediate signs of Suicide.
  • Self-harm is a sign of serious emotional distress. It is a risk factor for future Suicide.

Suicidal ideation is much more common than suicidal behaviour. Suicidal ideation, also known as thoughts of Suicide, exists on a continuum of severity from fleeting, vague thoughts of death and so on.

The ratio of suicides in males and females:

Suicide occurs across all age, economic, social, racial and ethnic boundaries. It is noted that females are more likely than males to have suicidal thoughts.

Males take their lives at nearly 4x the rate of females, and this represent 77.9 per cent of all Suicide.

Only a third of people who die by Suicide have been in contact with a mental health service in the year before their death. Some people considering Suicide may hint at or even disclose to friends or relatives that they intend to take their own lives.

Immediate practical assistance, such as being with the person, encouraging them to communicate and assisting them in making future plans, can prevent suicide attempts and deaths.