Silent Killer

Kefran Nancy St Clair: Are there still unanswered questions about her death?

Kefran Nancy St Clair: Are there still unanswered questions about her death?

The news had clearly hit her hard. Our receptionist came bursting into an afternoon meeting, a bit discombobulated itching to share the disturbing news.

“You know the security guard at M&C in town killed himself?” she relayed breathlessly.

We would later find out that this gentleman was 61-year-old Ephrem Boullie. The Belair, La Croix Maingot resident was found hanging from his bedroom roof, with a stool at his feet.

Given her obvious disbelief, I asked the young lady whether he was a personal friend. She admitted that their only acquaintance was through her trips to the store. But his kind nature always resonated with her.

“Every time I came there he used to tell me I am a beautiful girl, take care of myself, the world is dangerous. He had a very nice personality, always smiling. So I found it strange when they told me he hung himself because he seemed so passionate about life.”

News reports have indicated that even his children were unaware of any issues that would drive their father to this final act. His sister offered perhaps the only plausible insight; loneliness. He had lost both his wife and sister in a three year span.

Days before, 27-year-old Kefran Nancy St Clair, was also found hanging from the roof of her kitchen. The mother of three was employed at Bay Gardens. There are doubts surrounding her cause of death, but police are treating it as a suicide. The post mortem revealed death by ligature strangulation.

Back in May, Shem Sadoo of Augier ended his life. He left a note with no explanation, but one request: to leave his house in possession of his daughter.

Of course we will never know what triggered the actions of Boullie, St Clair and Sadoo, but we do know that they are part of a growing epidemic sweeping St Lucia in the past couple of years.  And the question remains. What is being done to safeguard our country’s mental well-being?

In 2009, The Taiwanese government handed over the Saint Lucia National Mental Wellness Center, a state of the art facility featuring 84 beds for psychiatric patients, 24 beds for neurological patients, a diagnostic centre for X ray, an auditorium, a merged kitchen, laundry, medical records, library rooms, and providing administrative services for the Neuro-Psychiatric Centre.

This was expected to start the much-needed dialogue on depression and it’s infiltration of our culture. Depression is a mood disorder that has long been stigmatized in St Lucia and is often dismissed as trivial. Fear of ridicule robs the afflicted of their voice; they often suffer in silence. But left to its own devices, those persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest can become much more than a passing cloud.

In a 2013 interview, one of the center’s psychologist’s, Naomi Jn Baptist, shared that depression left untreated can lead to suicidal thoughts, a trend which she noticed was rising on the island. And while the economy was often blamed, undetected depression was a major culprit. The doctor cautioned that for sufferers, professional help was urgent.

Intent on gleaning more insight, I called the center hoping to interview Jn Baptist. After encountering numerous unanswered calls and being volleyed around between departments, I finally made contact with an official who informed me that there were no doctors available.

“What time should I call back?”

“They’re all gone. They work from 8:00 – 12:30,” was her terse response.

“On Fridays?” I persisted.

“Monday to Friday.”

“Oh? Okay then.”

I was flummoxed. Am I to assume that all mental health issues should be put on hold after 12:30 pm daily? Keep that emotional turmoil bottled up inside until it can be addressed during those four and a half hours?

If we’re going to start making headway in what is becoming an increasingly common occurrence, we’re going to must do better than that. Can’t we at least spring for a hotline?

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10 Responses to Silent Killer

  1. cswaerospace says:

    Suicide is the final nail in the Devil’s construction of Discouragement within a soul that is without God.

    Further, suicide is seen as the only solution by the victim when faced by seemingly impossible odds in a society that is dominated by power hungry and Godless Secret Society Memberships who populate every facet of the nation’s governance and political landscape. Suicide is seen as a resounding success to their ascension of absolute power.

    In the words the late great Bob Marley; ” Release yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds”.

    • Fer De Lance says:

      Godleness is the most Godly way to be, God is not an entity or being, there is no God or Devil, we are all simply Godly. Suicide is part of humanity, you and I will never understand that practice since we have never tried it.

  2. Fer De Lance says:

    Suicide is an intelligent act, it means you own your life and your awareness of your current conditions seem a crisis. The society hates anyone who chooses to live and die by their own means. You are so busy fearing your God that you have missed the point, it is not so much that he killed himself, no, you need to look at what actually made him decide, VAT? You so feel excited and good that a deparate person has done something that is beyound your comprehension, it makes you feel that you are better today in the midst of so much misery and hardship. Don’t judge this poor man on on days page of his life, you know nothing about this person. When the WASCO bill arrives I am…

    • Fer De Lance says:

      … sure sometimes you imagine a gun blowing off your head. The St. Lucian society is one conditioned to false love, fake wealth and a lot of showing off, so when poverty arrives as it will, you feel so ashamed to the point of suicide. The bank calls for your defaulted mortgage and you start to panic, there are many things that cause suicide in St. Lucia, the biggest is cheating spouses.

      • Bolly says:

        Cheating spouses do not cause suicide, the person chose to commit suicide because of the life the other person chose to live. If you are a man why should you allow your destiny be determined because of what your woman chose to put into her vagina and vice versa.

        • Fer De Lance says:

          @Bolly, I agree, but a lot of men in St. Lucia have inane responses to a spouse cheating. They do not realize that cheating is a good thing, it keeps your marriage on fire in the bed.

  3. Now as for doctors only working to a certain time is just part of the poppyshow layback “siesta” arrogance that exist on that island. Port Authority Wokers and the many civil servants (bawling for raise) don’t even bother talk about the bank workers are just a few of the culpits. For example you go on the docks to claim an item, God forbid you reach there during or before lunch. (1) They all go to lunch at the same time(2) Before returning to work they have to watch or listen to the death announcements and dicuss it.(3) They all have to go the bathroom to fix up themselves Oh Lord God forbid its an half day. Half day in this day and age so colonial.

  4. LuciaBoy says:


    must encourage them to seek help or better yet alert the authorities if you are overly concerned about someone’s mental or emotional state.

  5. LuciaBoy says:

    Yep the doctors work half day for the government and moonlight elsewhere perhaps in their private offices orl at Tapion. But the question is do we have the necessary expertise in psychology, psychiatry, and social work professionals in Saint Lucia? It would appear that the authorities most react after an incident and not much is done in the area of prevention. The writer mentioned a suicide hotline that is definitely a start to at least identify those who are in danger and intervene. The social stigma that is attached to persons who seek counselling services for depression and other emotional and mental issues must be strongly repudiated. Persons close to the potential victims of suicide…

  6. Suicide is a selfish act . Yes I said it !! Especially in cases where young children are still in need of parental care. Who should mine their children the State and sudden burdensome on family members ?? I only understand suicide in cases of terminal illness and extreme depression, all other forms of suicide are cowardly acts.

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