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Jan 28, 2016

Looking for Signs of Depression

Suicides are not reported in our newscasts as a matter of policy, except in rare cases. Recently, there have been two cases of a pair of young girls in the Cayo District, which have raised alarm bells. Suicides, theoretically, are not often random.  In fact, a majority of those who take their own lives often leave behind telltale signs for family and friends to uncover. According to Mental Health Nurse, Eleanor Bennett, it is important for parents to observe the behavior of their children, especially those who suddenly become reclusive and antisocial.  It may be a sign that the individual is coping with severe stress or other factors that may lead to suicide.


Eleanor Bennet

Eleanor Bennett, Mental Health Nurse

“When it comes to suicide the books will tell you that most people leave clues.  Rarely is it something that is a spur-of-the-moment decision.  There are some cases where the person is impulsive but that also comes with other mental health conditions.  So having said that then, some of the clues that people can look out for would be the person talking about suicide which is the most obvious and often ignored clue.  …saying that I feel hopeless, I want to die, I will kill myself.  That should not be ignored.  Many times families hear this and they don’t know what to do.  Maybe the person might not be verbalizing suicidal thoughts but might be writing them.  So you can check their Face book [page], see what it looks like.  Some people express themselves on social media easier than they would to their families, so look for a dark content of the post or the pictures or places this person visits.  Look for poems that might talk about death or look for music that the person might be listening to that talks about death.  Notice their behavior, if this had been a person that, let’s say was an athlete and now this person is just withdrawn, is not involved in any of the usual activities, this is definitely a red flag and people should start to take note because behavior change sometimes tells us that maybe chemically there are some changes so look for depressed moods.  Look for feelings of not wanting to participate, wanting to withdraw, not wanting to go to school, just not connecting with the family.  So those are very important things to look for; and a child who does not talk a lot to their parents or doesn’t seem to have a lot of friends, you also have to look out for that too.”


As it stands, statistics indicate that there is a seven percent suicide rate to every one hundred thousand Belizean, considerably lower than in neighboring Central American countries.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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