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Plan to deal with suicides


CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Plan to deal with suicides

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NASSAU, Bahamas – The Bahamas government has called for a nonpartisan approach to programmes and policies so as to prevent persons committing suicide.
“Bahamians should work in a nonpartisan manner to prevent as many suicides as possible as well as to respond to such a tragedy when it occurs. The reasons for suicide are varied and often complex. Difficult economic times may help to lead to an increase in suicides as has been seen in various countries around the world during what have been some of the toughest economic times in generations,” said Labour and Social Development Minister Dion Foulkes.
He said that suicide “is a complex matter which should be discussed and responded to with great care and sensitivity, as well as compassion and proactive responses by various institutions and individuals, including those in public office”
He said he was urging all stakeholders, including the Opposition “to offer ideas, support and prayers in helping those in our homes and communities who may be tempted to commit suicide.
“Moreover, we should support those families who have suffered the loss of a loved one through such a tragedy. What is needed in such trying times is love and compassion, not insensitivity or making judgments.”
He said the government also responded “with a comprehensive and intensive array of measures to respond to the global financial crisis and its impact on individuals, families and communities”.
Foulkes said that suicides in The Bahamas decreased by 33 per cent from 2009 to 2010, from 12 to eight respectively.
“Still, every suicide is a tragedy for the individuals and families involved as well as the wider community,” he said, noting that the government had increased the number of counsellors for the national suicide hotline.
The Minister quoted World Health Organization statistics indicating that The Bahamas has one of the lowest suicide rates in the world.
“This may be due in part to our strong sense of community and religious faith, both of which we should continue to rely on in good and difficult times,” he said. (CMC)

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