Jamaica is alarmed at the disproportionate number of males who are committing suicide compared to females. According to police data, 61 people committed suicide in Jamaica last year in a population of 2.9 million. Of that number, 56 were males and five females.
Forty of those males committed suicide by hanging. Ingesting poison was the second highest method used. St Ann was listed as the police division with the highest number of reported suicides for 2018.
“Hanging is what is most common. Majority of those in Jamaica die by hanging,” said Dr Donovan Thomas, founder and president of Choose Life International.
Dr Thomas, addressing a press conference in Kingston on Sept. 11, World Suicide Prevention Day, pointed out that most people who commit suicide in Jamaica are men in the 25-44 age range, most of whom are single. Of note is that while more women attempt suicide, more men follow through.
“Let’s talk about the risk factors: a history of substance abuse, people with disability, physical disabilities or illness, recent death of family or close friends, exposure to bullying, sexual abuse, and mental health condition,” Dr Thomas said.
He added that among the high-risk groups are “people with easy access to harmful means of death, relationship problems, and that usually leads to murder suicide, previous suicide attempt, hopelessness, and a desire to escape their present realities”.