JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Custos Rotulorum for St. James, Bishop the Hon. Conrad Pitkin, is encouraging civic-minded Jamaicans to play an active role in suicide prevention.
  • Speaking at the Choose Life International (CLI) ‘World Suicide Prevention Day Seminar 2019’, at Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay, St. James, on Tuesday, September 10, Bishop Pitkin noted data indicating that some 238 Jamaicans have committed suicide between January 2015 and March 2019.
  • “As we observe today as World Suicide Prevention Day, we must rededicate ourselves to actively working, not only today, but every day to fulfil our collective responsibility to watch out for and take care of each other,” he said.

Custos Rotulorum for St. James, Bishop the Hon. Conrad Pitkin, is encouraging civic-minded Jamaicans to play an active role in suicide prevention.

Speaking at the Choose Life International (CLI) ‘World Suicide Prevention Day Seminar 2019’, at Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay, St. James, on Tuesday, September 10, Bishop Pitkin noted data indicating that some 238 Jamaicans have committed suicide between January 2015 and March 2019.

“As we observe today as World Suicide Prevention Day, we must rededicate ourselves to actively working, not only today, but every day to fulfil our collective responsibility to watch out for and take care of each other,” he said.

The Custos argued that, globally, men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.

Additionally, he noted that death by firearm is the most commonly used method of suicide among men, followed by hanging.

Against this background, Bishop Pitkin urges more Jamaican men with overwhelming challenges to seek help or find “someone that you can share with”.

“When someone is going through challenges and comes to us for help, it doesn’t make them weak. It means they are strong because asking for help when you need it takes courage and strength,” the Custos stated.

“What we and our entire country need to remember is that these brave individuals shouldn’t be avoided or stigmatised. We need to embrace them. It only takes persons to ask one question or make one call, and that single act can save a life,” he added.

Tuesday’s seminar was held under the theme, ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide, Murder and Murder-Suicide’.

Among the topics discussed were: ‘Intimate Partner Violence, Murder and Murder-Suicide’; ‘Parental Connect and Suicidality’; ‘Managing Suicidal Risk in School’; and ‘Expanding Suicide Counselling to Text and Chat’.

Founder of CLI, Dr. Donovan Thomas, indicated that the seminar was designed to provide enlightenment on the issues contributing to suicides and how persons can aid in preventing these.

“We believe that every person here can make a difference. You can show up in somebody’s life and make a difference. Don’t underestimate the impact that you can have in helping people to choose life,” he noted.

Another seminar is planned for the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston on Friday, September 13.