Saint Lucia has recorded yet another suicide.
According to information reaching the STAR yesterday, a Vieux Fort man in his 20s is the latest casualty. The police press office has confirmed the report. At the time of going to press however, investigators were still trying to put the pieces together.
However, the STAR has been reliably informed that Philbert Felix, age 23, hanged himself. The Pierrot resident had been employed at the Hewannora International Airport. Felix’s death marks the second suicide this to be recorded in the south of the island, following that of Cuthbert Duplesis, an accountant with the Bordelais Correctional Facility on January 5.
Medical reports indicate he had ingested the deadly weedicide known as “touch down,” then driven to St Jude where he reportedly collapsed and died at the hospital’s entrance.
Last December 26, the body of 15-year-old Jasma Josephine Lubin, another resident of Vieux Fort, was found dangling from a rope in her bedroom.
Several psychologists have lately been advising the society to be more vigilant and to take it more seriously when loved ones threaten to kill themselves. As a society develops and modernizes, say the experts, more pressure is being placed on individuals, not only to conform but to cope, giving rise to more stress-related diseases and psychological imbalances that can lead to suicide. Religious leaders, on the other hand, the reasons for the suicides include poor family values, degradation of morality, low self-esteem and a lack of belief in God.
In other spheres, the world economic crisis has been blamed for the increased number of suicides among young people.
In 2011 the World Health rankings placed Saint Lucia at number 144 out of 195 countries with a 4.6 suicide death rate per 100,000—higher than Grenada, Barbados, Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts, Nevis. At the top of the list was Guyana with a 32.5 suicide rate, and Trinidad and Tobago at 54 with a rate of 11.11.
The United States was ranked at 127 with a rate of 10.3.