WELL-KNOWN counselling psychologist, Calixtus Jn. Louis, is calling on family members and friends to be attentive to persons within their circles so as to identify suicidal tendencies should they present themselves.
He made the call in light of three deaths this week police are treating as suspected suicides, one victim being a 16-year-old schoolgirl.
Jn. Louis, who has over the years counseled people with suicidal tendencies, appeared on talk shows and conducted sessions with several people, all in an effort to encourage, motivate and bring them out of their depressive moods. He urges all to take note should people show signs of hopelessness.
“While praying for someone going into a clinical depression is a good thing, also take that person to a medical practitioner, a psychologist — not just take the person to the pastor, as some people do. People in the stage of hopelessness, where to them the only way out of what they are experiencing is death, need to be given hope. They need someone to help them challenge their negativities,” Jn. Louis said.
The National Health Hotline, designed for people contemplating suicide, with its telephone number 203, is encouraging people to call the number before undertaking any perverse act.
The hotline has been kept busy over the two years and three months it has been in operation. Since June 2015, it has received 824 calls from 490 callers.
The VOICE learned that more females are calling the helpline for help than males, although not by a wide margin.
The country continues to record astonishingly high numbers of suicide in recent years.
For instance, in 2010, 10 males and 1 female took their own lives. In 2011, another 10 males committed suicides. In 2012, the numbers were 13 in all — 10 males and 3 females. In 2013, the number was 10 — all males. In 2014, the numbers moved to 13, with 10 males and 3 females. In 2015, the suicide numbers lowered to 7 — all males. In 2016, 1 female and six males committed suicide. This year, two males and two females have done so.
On Wednesday, police reported that 16-year-old Nakyshka Edgar of Maynard Hill, Castries was found at her residence suspended by the neck.
That same day, police were summoned to Gadette, Dennery where they found 42-year-old Kurt Arnold Remy Mason suspended by the neck from a ceiling. According to police reports, Mason was seen alive just thirty minutes before a family member found him.
Lazarus Alexander, a 46-year-old resident of Grand Ravine, Dennery was admitted to the St. Jude Hospital on Monday, September 11 after he ingested what police called “a noxious substance”. He succumbed on Monday of this week. A post mortem examination has revealed that he died as a result of multiple organ dysfunctions, secondary to alleged paraquat ingestion.