Marketing and Communications Manager
BVI Health Services Authority
Director of Mental Health, Dr. Virginia Rubaine has said that the community must recognise that apart from mental health and depression diagnoses, there are other factors contributing to suicide.
Dr. Rubaine said economic, social and cultural factors also play a role and that the Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will be raising awareness on mental health issues as part of World Mental Health Day activities on Thursday October 10.
The director said, “We want to encourage the community to think and talk before they tip their hat.” She added that suicide rates continue to rise throughout the region and by understanding the demanding realities faced by families and friends it is imperative that they are provided with adequate coping skills, resources and support.
Dr. Rubaine said suicide warning signs include talking, thinking, reading, or writing about suicide. Other signs include talking about feeling worthless or hopeless, losing interest in activities, using or increasing use of drugs or alcohol or any changes from typical behaviors such as having problems at school or work and not wanting to go out with friends.
“If you suspect that a family member or friend may be considering suicide, be honest and express your concerns to them,” the director urged. She added, “You should also listen and offer support, ask direct questions about thoughts of suicide and take them seriously if they are thinking about harming themselves.”
Persons can also seek help by contacting Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services located in the Major Peebles Wing of the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital at 852-7670 and offer to accompany their relatives and friends to seek help.
“We have to be our brother’s keeper. Suicide prevention requires a community effort,” Dr. Rubaine concluded.
World Mental Health Day will be commemorated on Thursday October 10 under the theme “Suicide Prevention”.
The community is urged to support mental health awareness by using the following hash tags. #BVI2019WORLDMENTALHEATLHDAY and #BVISILLYHATSUICIDEAWARENESS
The BVI Health Services Authority is committed to delivering excellent, compassionate, client centered healthcare across the Territory.