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Sep 9, 2019

Celebrating World Suicide Prevention Day 2019

World Prevention Suicide Day is held globally to raise awareness of mental health issues that lead to suicide. The highest rate of suicide takes place among young people so this morning at Wesley High School, a ceremony was held to spread the message that by working together, lives can be saved because suicide is preventable. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. 

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Across the world, one person dies by suicide every forty seconds.  Every death is a misfortune for family, friends and colleagues, yet suicides are avoidable.  It is the second leading cause of death among young people between fifteen and twenty-nine-years-old, after fatal road traffic accidents.  In Belize, the suicide rate is fairly low when compared with homicide statistics.

 

Juliet Simmons, Mental Health Counselor

Juliet Simmons

“Every year on September tenth, it’s World Suicide Prevention Day but, you know, it’s Belize and we have September tenth special for something else so we’re recognizing that day today, September ninth.  This year we’re doing it here at Wesley College.  They are hosting this ceremony for us that we normally do every year and it’s done in the other districts as well.”

 

The most common forms of taking one’s own life are hanging, pesticide self-poisoning and firearms.  Key interventions that have shown success in reducing suicides are limiting access to means; educating the media on responsible reporting of suicides and implementing programs among youths to build life skills that enable them to face life stresses.

 

Hiram Cadogan

Hiram Cadogan, School Teacher, Wesley College

“One would question, why would someone want to commit suicide?  You would have to understand that suicide is an impulsive act due to stress such as financial difficulty, trouble with relationships or even bullying.  Do you know the highest rates of suicide are found in teens, between the ages of fifteen and nineteen?  Do you know that every person in the world goes through at least one tragic event in their life?  Do you know that suicide is not the answer, nor is it a solution?  Do you know that there are people who love you and care about you and don’t tell you this daily?  Do you know that if you are gone today, you will greatly affect these people’s lives?”

 

Suicide and non-fatal suicidal behaviour are major public and mental health problems.  Data from the World Health Organization indicate that approximately one million people worldwide die by suicide each year, exceeding the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.

 

Juliet Simmons

“Why we’re engaging this population, the adolescent population is a population we have to work with.  That’s the population that has the most suicide attempts, so we can’t ignore that.  Remember too, that once there is a suicide attempt there is a high risk for a completed suicide down the road.  So we have to work with everybody who has attempted suicide especially in this population because they have the biggest numbers.”

 

This morning at Yarborough, several high schools came together for a flag raising ceremony.  The purpose of World Suicide Prevention Day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.

Juliet Simmons

“Last year, if I could call it that, was a trouble year for us.  That was one of our highest numbers, we had thirty-one completed suicides last year which is higher than many of the past years where we were in the lower twenties.  For this year 2019, we have seven unconfirmed.  So the numbers are low, let’s keep it low.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.


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