Hard times ‘could prompt more suicides’

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - News -

An in­de­pen­dent de­vel­op­ment con­sul­tant has put Bar­ba­dos on no­tice for an in­crease in the num­ber of males com­mit­ting sui­cide.

Ce­cilia Babb said that due to the cur­rent aus­ter­ity mea­sures she was sure that more “men are go­ing to com­mit sui­cide”.

Her com­ments were made to a large gath­er­ing at a Women & De­vel­op­ment Unit (WAND) and the Na­tion Pub­lish­ing Co. spon­sored pub­lic fo­rum ti­tled: Eco­nomic Chal­lenges In Bar­ba­dos And You on Wed­nes­day night at the Moot Court of the Cave Hill cam­pus of the Univer­sity of the West Indies.

Babb was part of the panel that in­cluded for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Owen Arthur, Bar­bara Lang­don-thompson who spoke from a credit union per­spec­tive, and Gov­ern­ment’s chief eco­nomic ad­vi­sor Av­inash Per­suad.

Speak­ing on the topic Find A Way, Babb ad­dressed the im­pact of eco­nomic chal­lenges on the house­hold. She looked at each mem­ber and iden­ti­fied some of the pres­sures that were likely to be present, were go­ing to be in­creased and which would be there, she said, for a sus­tained pe­riod.

She noted that men will be af­fected, es­pe­cially those who are bread­win­ners, un­em­ployed young men and those who live in house­holds headed by women and al­though they might be qual­i­fied can­not find em­ploy­ment.

“So a lot of pres­sures will fol­low them. Some of them will be able to re­tain their in­come but a lot of them will not be able to re­tain their in­come . . . . Those who al­ready pro­vide, if their in­comes are re­duced they will be less able to pro­vide.”

Babb said men tend to com­mit sui­cide more fre­quently than women, and she sug­gested this was the case be­cause money is tied to a man’s sense of his man­hood.

“I’m aware that when men do not have money they are dis­turbed in a dif­fer­ent way from the way that women are dis­turbed. Women are dis­turbed about the ma­te­rial well-be­ing of their fam­ily, men are dis­turbed about their man­hood. And they find other ways to ex­press their man­hood than maybe to the ben­e­fit of the house­hold,” she said.

Some of the other pres­sures Babb ex­pects to be­fall the house­hold dur­ing aus­ter­ity is a de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the qual­ity of life both ma­te­ri­ally and emo­tion­ally, less fam­ily time, the health of women, and as par­ents seek ad­di­tional in­come through al­ter­na­tive em­ploy­ment, mul­ti­ple jobs or ex­tended work hours that will re­sult in more young peo­ple be­ing left to care for their own de­vel­op­men­tal, emo­tional and nu­tri­tional needs.

(Pic­ture by Ri­cardo Lea­cock.)

Av­inash Per­saud (left) and Ce­cilia Babb.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Barbados

© PressReader. All rights reserved.