[Press Release] Saint Lucia will join the rest of the world in observing World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th, 2018.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. World Suicide Prevention Day is held every year to raise awareness and work towards the common goal of preventing suicide. As part of this observance, the Saint Lucia National Mental Wellness Centre will play its part by hosting several activities. Consultant Psychiatrist at the National Mental Wellness Centre Julius Gilliard explains.

“In observance of World Suicide Prevention Day we have a number of initiatives planned from the 3rd to the 7th of September on the ground floor of the Ministry of Health. There will be a table where persons can come and be screened for different mental health conditions, be screened for the level of suicidal thoughts that they may be having if they are having any and if they do have distress from those questionnaires they can be referred to the adequate agency. On the 9th of September we will be having a church service at the Bethel Tabernacle at 10 am where persons can attend. We are specially inviting families of persons who have been bereaved by suicide to attend and share with us on this important day. On Monday the 10th from 10am there will be a mental health fair at Constitution Park where persons again can come to be screened for different mental health conditions, receive information on suicide and suicide prevention and as well as information on the national health plan and how that can be accessed. On the night of September 10th we are encouraging persons to light a candle near a window at 8pm in observance of World Suicide Prevention Day and by doing that they will be showing support for persons who have been bereaved by suicide as well as showing support for suicide prevention around the world. ”

Gilliard said, there is help for persons who see suicide as a viable option to their problems.

“We would like persons to know that the National help line is available 24hrs a day. Persons can call from any phone, the call is free, the number is 203 and there are always persons there waiting to assist persons who are having difficult times who may see suicide as a viable option. The callers will be referred to persons who can assist them to get through those difficult times so that the suicidal thoughts which can be distressing can be dealt with.”

The 2018 theme for Suicide Prevention Day is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide”

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