Our Readers' Opinions
April 1, 2016
Vincentians, never ignore a cry for help

Editor: Suicide does not occur as frequently here as in other countries. In the absence of statistics, I would boldly say it is a problem here in SVG.

Many times when it is committed or attempts are made, we have persons who are condemning rather than supportive. Many times, negative remarks are made and this only makes the situation worse, rather than better.{{more}}

When a person frequently speaks about suicide, it is a sign that the person does not want to commit the act, but is seeking help. However, if the right type of help is not given, then the act will be committed. Sometimes a person is quiet and appears to be normal, but has already made up his/her mind to commit the act. Such a person no longer seeks help, for that person’s mind is already made up and he/she does it quietly.

Time does not permit me to detail suicide, its causes and solutions. However, let me briefly outline some possible causes and some recommendations as solutions (if you can describe it as such). Guilt is seen as a major contributor to suicide; sometimes a person blames him/herself when they ought not. The pressure of such guilt, if not properly dealt with can lead a person in that direction. Rejection is another cause of suicide. Sometimes a person has been constantly rejected by a partner or for that matter several partners and even parents, friends and siblings. A person may have faced broken relationships and feels unloved. Those around him/her turn around and blame the person. So that person is left and feels unwanted, unloved and unappreciated. That person sees no hope in life and no reason to be alive simply because the world around him/her has collapsed.

Sometimes a person sets high standards and so failure can lead to depression, which, if not dealt with, can lead to suicide. There are so many things we neglect and take for granted which can lead a person into a state of sadness, depression and later on, suicide.

Before a person reaches that point, there are thoughts about it. The person thinks about it many times and may postpone the act, hoping to receive help. But sadly, many times the help received does not persuade the person away from the suicidal thoughts.

It is important, therefore, in helping a person who is contemplating suicide not to lecture the person. Many times we mean well when we do so, but a suicidal person has already developed a mental block to many of those words. Even sometimes giving them religious talks and Bible verses do not register in their mind.

What is needed is to let the person talk and talk and just listen. Let the person express him/herself. Try not to interrupt the conversation for this can discourage the individual. Showing empathy and understanding are vital in helping the suicidal person. Many times it is just letting the person know that you care and love him/her is what many times helps, rather than trying to give words. The worst thing you can do is to be judgemental. Most of all, be there for the person. Pray for and with the person and give support.

Much more can be said, but I would close by encouraging us to look out for one another. If we know of persons who are contemplating suicide, it is important that you recommend them to a counsellor, pastor or even a social worker who is trustworthy. Also be a friend and let them know that you love them and care for them. May God bless this nation.

Kennard King