Suicide a worrying issue for Region 2 – Regional Chairman

… 35 attempted cases, 5 deaths

Mental health issues have been one of the social ills affecting Region Two, according to Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt, who disclosed that a multi-stakeholder approach is needed to tackle the scourge.

He made this declaration at the statutory Regional Democratic Council (RDC) meeting held earlier this week, during which People’s Progressive Party Councillor and Chairman of the Region Two Health and Sanitation Committee, Arnold Adams, presented his report under ‘health’ and disclosed that 35 persons had attempted suicide between January and March 2017, with five of them succeeding in the venture.

During his presentation, Adams declared 35 is a high number, and the issue of mental health needs to be addressed. He called for a Mental Health Unit to be establishment within the region, and for this unit to provide such services as psychiatric, social work and counselling.

“We need a place where people can go and confine themselves. Having a Unit established will be a plus for Region Two,” Adams said.

The RDC meet was informed that a psychiatrist visits the region only once per month, and this is not sufficient to address mental health issues.

In responding, Ramdatt said a multi-stakeholder approach is needed to tackle the issues. He said that, over the years, various non-governmental organisations had indicated their interest in this regard, but there need to be continuous sessions of treatment offered to patients, and implementation of decisions made in this regard.

He added that Government also has a part to play in addressing the issue, by implementing the necessary policies. Ramdatt said Caribbean Voice personnel had indicated their willingness to work with persons in Region Two to tackle the scourges that affect that region.

The region, he said, has a working suicide group, but group members have been inactive for quite some time. From the RDC level also, a regional conversation was done, wherein persons had made recommendations to the RDC on how to tackle the issue.

Five persons: Christopher Cross from Onderneeming, Chovindra Lall, Shalini Danpat, Shendal George and Govin Narine, have been recent victims of suicide. They were all suffering from relationship issues, and decided to end their lives.