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SVGCC holds Suicide Prevention Fair

SVGCC holds Suicide Prevention Fair


Students at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) Villa Campus were last Friday made aware of the factors that lead to and could also prevent suicide cases.

This came as the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment collaborated with the SVGCC in joining the rest of the world in celebrating World Suicide Prevention Day, September 9, under the theme “Connect. Communicate. Care.”

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., students were open to Anxiety and Depression Screenings, Suicide Risk Assessments, Information on Suicide and Prevention Strategies, free HIV testing, STI information and blood pressure checks.{{more}}

Speaking with SEARCHLIGHT, director of the SVGCC Nigel Scott recalled that two years ago a student at the Technical Division committed suicide and so he made it clear at the graduation ceremony in 2015 that “One suicide is one too many.”

He further noted that since then, two counsellors have been introduced, who move between the four divisions, working with the students. Scott related that one of these counsellors approached him earlier last week, indicating that she would like to work along with the Ministry of Health and other entities to mark the day and bring awareness to suicide and suicide prevention.

According to him, students around the HIV testing area on Friday indicated that they wish the fair would be more often, which shows that students are interested in their health.

“Certainly we would be looking at what we could to do, not just for Suicide Prevention Day, but for other occasions marking those occasions,” he added.

The director noted that a lot of students are very depressed and so the college could do more to put structures in place to support them.

He said, “Adolescence and young adulthood is a very difficult period and we would do our best to try to support them as much as possible, so that they don’t ever get to that point of wanting to drop out of society.”

Counsellors at the college Kerry-Ann Hamilton and Jean DaSilva collaborated with the Mental Health Rehabilitation Centre team, represented by Roselle Solomon and her colleagues to coordinate the Suicide Prevention Fair.

“The Counselling Department sees it as a timely intervention at the institution as transitional life changes and stressors can be overwhelming,” Hamilton said.

In an interview, DaSilva pointed out that they received great feedback in the HIV testing and blood pressure checks area from the students.

She went on to state that college students should be more aware of suicide, as it is one of the issues that raise much concern.

“We just thought it best to bring information to students, so that they can become more aware of factors, things that they can look out for just in case they had… maybe a friend, or someone who may be at risk,” DaSilva added.

She noted that the college has not seen any recent cases of suicide and so an effort is being made to ultimately prevent cases. (AS)