The Department of Health & Wellness records a decrease in suicide rates for 2018.
According to the Department of Health & Wellness suicide report, the figures pointed to a drop for suicide rates in 2018 compared to previous years.
Saint Lucia has recorded three completed suicides for 2018 compared to thirteen in 2017.
Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Julius Gilliard highlighted the changes in the suicide rates over the last three years.
“As we noted between 2015 to 2017, there was an average of about seven to eight completed suicides for the year and that was after the National Helpline was started. But in 2017, there was a bump up to 13, which we saw a decrease to last year to three.”
Dr. Gilliard applauded the suicide prevention efforts of the Department, especially with the support of the National Helpline and also sensitization activities.
The Psychiatrist also noted that despite the decrease in suicide rates, the Department will continue to embark on initiatives to mask significant gains in suicide prevention.
“We plan on doing things a little better this year to continue sensitize the public as to the presence of the Helpline and to remind persons that it is there for them in case they are having suicidal thoughts. We as well want to go out a little more to the other communities; because our efforts last year were centered mainly in Castries, apart from the TV ads. So we want to go out into the communities a little more to try to bring that help to persons out there who may not be able to come to Castries to be a part of whatever activities we are having.”
Dr. Gilliard is urging anyone whose life or whose loved one’s life is in immediate danger because of suicide thoughts, to call the National Helpline at 203. (Department of Health and Wellness)