Suicide rate decreases
Monday, January 14, 2019
by Fernelle Neptune, Ministry of Health

A report from the Department of Health and Wellness has indicated a decrease in suicide rates for the year 2018, when compared to previous years.

According to the report, Saint Lucia recorded three suicides in 2018 compared to 13 in 2017.

Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Julius Gilliard, compared the changes in the suicide rates over the last three years.

“As we noted between 2015 to 2017, there was an average of about 7 to 8 completed suicides for the year. That was after the National Helpline was started. But in 2017, there was a bump up to 13, which we saw decrease last year to three,” Dr. Gilliard explained.

He applauded the suicide prevention efforts of the Ministry of Health, especially with the support of the National Helpline and also sensitization activities. He also noted that despite the decrease in suicide rates, the department will continue to embark on suicide prevention initiatives.

“We plan on doing things a little better this year to continue sensitize the public as to the presence of the helpline, and to remind persons that it is there for them in case they are having suicidal thoughts. As well, we want to go out a little more to the other communities because, apart from the TV ads, our efforts last year were centered mainly in Castries. So we want to go out into the communities to bring help to those people.”

Dr. Gilliard urges anyone whose life or whose loved one’s life is in immediate danger due to suicidal thoughts, to call the National Helpline at 203.