Suicide: A Nation’s Worst Nightmare!
With the escalating number of reported suicides, the unavoidable question is: Why? What is it that drives people, the young especially, to want to end it all?
On September 10 Saint Lucia will join the international community in observing World Suicide Prevention Day. Thankfully, outside the established organizations with their expressed interest in suicide prevention, there are individuals as interested in discovering the root of the problem, perchance to arrive at a solution. One such individual is Shane Larcher, a local, young entrepreneur best known for his 'I am' Lucian apparel line. He is also an activist blogger who has sought to use his platform to launch what he views as an effective suicide prevention campaign. “I believe we all have this one life on earth and we should make the most out of it,” he told the STAR this week.
The 'I am' Lucian creator believes there is need for a practical suicide prevention campaign. “It's not really known here as well as one might've wished but the campaign is centred around the question ‘How are you?'” he explained during a recent interview.
“'How are you?' can be the start of a conversation that could uncover how someone secretly feels about himself or herself at a particular moment. You never know what's going on in someone's head until they speak up. An individual could well have been considering the worst—until he or she is asked how they are feeling.”
In pursuit of further publicity for his activism, Larcher has created pins and cards reflecting inspirational messages.
According to the World Health Organization over 800,000 people commit suicide annually worldwide and at least twenty-five times that number attempt it.
“This has been my driving force toward the campaign,” Larcher disclosed. He is hoping the public will wear the pins on September 10. Also, that business companies will invest in the pieces for their staff.
The statistics prepared by the leading local organization that handles suicide, paints the real picture of suicide in Saint Lucia. According to the National Health Service Helpline, between June 2015 and January 2016, 239 calls were recorded, with some people calling more than once.
Calls were received from both sexes, aged 13-80 years, broken down as 87 female and 94 male callers. 49 high-risk callers were recorded (28 males and 21 females) and 132 low-risk callers (66 males and 66 females).
“In Saint Lucia,” said Larcher, “a lot more needs to be done to discourage thoughts of suicide. We need meet-up events and more support groups.”
Additionally: “People commit suicide for many different reasons; someone may want to be pushing a dream or goal and, unable to get needed assistance, they may feel helpless and become depressed. The reasons may also be related to failed or failing relationships.”
Activist and blogger Shane Larcher: He says there is much more that can be done to discourage suicide in Saint Lucia.