It is alarming the figures shown for suicide deaths in Saint Lucia from 2011 to now, 2016.
Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting, significant effects on youth, families, peers, and communities.
Our youth are facing many challenges and the prevalence of mental health problems among young people is not reflected by their use of services; meaning that many avoid services and, subsequently, this is manifested through increased numbers of suicide.
The causes of suicide among youth are complex and involve many factors. Reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors and resilience is critical at this juncture.
It is a very concerning pattern of behavior we are recognizing.
This is why the Saint Lucia National Youth Council wants to collaborate with the other relevant agencies such as Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations, Crisis Center, Churches etc. to implement youth focused suicide prevention strategies.
Moreover it is imperative that we place emphasis on the participation, support, and active involvement of families, schools, and communities in order for measures towards addressing this societal issue to be effective.
For this year 2016 and moving forward, suicide prevention, intervention and postvention especially among our youth, should be of greater priority to all agencies involved.
Suicide is seemingly no longer gender biased, and so, every effort must be geared towards tackling the underlying issues that both genders may face.
The Saint Lucia National Youth Council sympathizes with the family of Ms. Bianca Felix , a youth of great charisma, who unfortunately has departed this world in the prime of life.
We take this opportunity to urge youth to seek help when needed.
It is of great human resource loss when such youthful lives are taken whether it is on their own accord or forced by the hands of someone else.