Sui­cide: A Na­tion’s Worst Night­mare!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Faye-Chantelle Mon­de­sir For those with thoughts of sui­cide and who would like to talk with some­one, the Na­tional Sui­cide Hot­line is 203. The Well­ness Cen­tre is 451 6824. Al­ter­na­tively, Mrs St. Cather­ine can be con­tacted at the Na­tional Cri­sis Cen­tre on

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.

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