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Sep 2, 2011

Statistics reveal much about age groups of suicide victims

Claudina Cayetano

Is there a particular sex, age range, or type of personality that is common or trending amongst people who attempt or commit suicide? And is it worse this year compared to other years?  Dr. Claudina Cayetano, the Psychiatrist and Clinical Advisor for the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Program, expounded on the current suicide statistics.

Dr. Claudina Cayetano, Psychiatrist, Mental Health Program, MOH

“We know that ninety percent of people who commit suicide have a mental illness and a lot of the—it could be that they have depression and depression is treatable so people should not be dying because of suicide. So when we compare ourselves to the international community, then we seem to have low statistics but if we compare ourselves to the previous years, we have some years when suicide was low. Like for example, last year if you look at an absolute number, we had I think eleven reported suicides. Now, for this year we already have sixteen. So the numbers change every year. Then we had in 2001 we had nineteen so each year it changes just like it changes in the districts. We have some districts that are high sometimes and we have Dangriga and Corozal having higher rates, but other years they are low. The only thing that seems to be constant about the rates is that al lot of the time it’s men who commit suicide, so the higher number of men commit suicide. The other number that is quite high is that eighty percent of people who commit suicide are less than forty-five years old; so they’re very young. Actually, now we are seeing that eighty percent so far is less than twenty-five. So it’s very young people who are productive like you and I, working, could have a family but this is what’s happening. Those are consistent in terms of younger people, more males than females.  With females we tend to see more attempts. Females tend to cut themselves or take pills so that seems to be more the trend we’re seeing.”

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