Financial woes causing suicides – Trinidad & Tobago
In Trinidad & Tobago, financial woes is becoming an increasing reason behind suicides in the last two years, representing a shift from common triggers such as problems in relationships, says chairman of LifelineTT Lucy Gabriel.
Gabriel said on Monday that whereas people used to be more concerned with issues in relationships, including with family, problems with finances are emerging as the type of stress behind more suicides.
Her remarks come on the heels of an apparent suicide pact that claimed the lives of couple Steve Jugmohan and Sharlene Ramkissoon, who were found dead in their Princes Town home by one of their five children last Saturday.
The couple left behind an explanation that they had found themselves “too deep” in debt.
Gabriel was speaking at a panel discussion, “Speak yuh Mind”, hosted by LifelineTT, which looked at some of the reasons behind suicide and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the issue.
She said financial woes were “very rarely” a cause of suicide.
Also speaking under the theme “The many faces of suicide” were Prof Gerard Hutchinson, professor of psychiatry at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine; Dr Aggrey Burke, retired psychiatrist, who joined from the United Kingdom; Dr Rampersad Parasram, psychiatrist and former chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA); and Swayne-Leo Hosein-Cadogan, forensic psychologist.
The forum was hosted by Cecilia Salazar, Vaughnette Bigford and Dean Bissoondial.
Clear signs in hindsight
Gabriel noted that some people have a history of mental illness or attempting suicide, but there are cases where others are shocked following the person’s death, saying there were no signs.
Gabriel said there are usually signs of what they are going through and these are usually clear in hindsight.
However, mental illness is not always behind a suicide and she cited depression, bullying and the impact of personal loss as factors. Nor are the suicidal necessarily violently or criminally insane, she said.
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