World Suicide Prevention Day observed
Friday, September 11, 2020
by Fernelle Neptune, Ministry of Health

As part of observing World Suicide Prevention Day (Sep. 10), the Ministry of Health hosted a suicide awareness symposium at the Saint Lucia National Mental Wellness Centre.

The symposium provided an opportunity for mental health professionals to share ideas and knowledge to help achieve the goal of preventing suicidal behavior.

Principal Nursing Officer Glenda Cepal says everyone can make a difference to assist others who have reached the point of wanting to end their lives.

“Preventing suicide is often possible and you are a key player in its prevention. You can make a difference as a member of society—as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbor. You can raise awareness about the issue; educate yourself and others about the causes of society and warning signs for suicide; show compassion and care for those who are in distress in your community. Question the stigma associated with suicide; suicidal behavior and mental health problems and share your own experiences.”

Cepal also called for the collaborative efforts of every one of us to prevent suicide.

“We must endeavor to develop evidence-based suicide prevention activities that reach those who are struggling in every part of the world. Joining together is critical in preventing suicide. Preventing suicide requires the efforts of many. It takes family, friends, coworkers, community members, educators, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, political officials and government. Suicide prevention requires integrative strategies that encompass work at the individual systems and community level.”

World Suicide Prevention Day is observed under the theme, “Working together to prevent suicide.”