By Staff Writer
10th September was observed, as it is every year, as World Suicide Prevention Day, and Cayman’s organisation that helps young people in particular with mental illness, the Alex Panton Foundation, has useful advice and resources for preventing the possibility of suicide in the community.
Giving people the tools to help prevent a possible suicide has never been more important, given the fact that for the first time in 18 months, the Cayman Islands finds its Covid-free “bubble” threatened by increasing cases of the virus from travelers and via community spread. This unsettling news, they said, among the existing and prolonged financial insecurities of those whose employment and income have been affected by travel restrictions, had given rise to heightened anxiety throughout the country.
One such useful resource has been a webinar recorded by the Pan American Health Organisation which teamed up with the World Health Organisation to produce the webinar through its World Suicide Prevention Day campaign.The theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is “Creating hope through action” and, as such, the PAHO and WHO put on the webinar as a way to spread awareness of suicide, promote preventative actions through stakeholder collaboration and self-empowerment to address self-harm, and to move forward its primary objective of reducing suicide and suicide attempts on an international level.
The Alex Panton Foundation said that although WSPD 2021 had already passed, their work to prevent suicide was far from over.
“Today and every day, we encourage you to embrace hope and commit to acting in service of the loved ones and strangers that make up our beautiful, often vulnerable community. Always remember to check in on your friends and family by offering a listening ear or helping hand. Most importantly, be kind and empathetic to everyone you meet; you could be saving a life with your smile and compassion,” they advised.
For more on how you can work to prevent suicide in the community, watch the PAHO WMHD Webinar and access their other resources at: https://www.paho.org/en/events/webinar-creating-hope-through-action
Key objectives of the webinar were to provide an overview of the suicide prevention initiatives in the region of the Americas and also to highlight Trinidad and Tobago’s national experience in preventing suicide. They also presented the work of the United Nations Development Agency in investing in suicide prevention in the region and shared the lived experience of a survivor of suicide. The webinar is available to all, but is particularly targeted at national authorities from Ministries of Health, affiliates, and other Ministries, health care providers and community workers. Sessions were in English and Spanish.
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