It is interesting to note that most of the eleven suspected suicide victims in the year 2017 are over forty years old and male; three of them were between the ages of sixty-three and seventy-three when they may have taken their own lives. Similarly, reports show that most of these victims did not display any notion of suicidal thoughts and the majority of those deaths were by way of hanging.
This year there have been several approaches in the media to the touchy subject of suicide and suicidal thoughts. Many persons from relevant authorities, including mental health institutions, have publicly made comments and emphasized encouragement to use the National Health Helpline, 203. However, suicide numbers continue to rise.
On Saturday December 2, 2017, police officers from the Gros Islet police station responded to a report of a suspected suicide. Lee Burgham, according to neighbours, had recently moved to a new residence in Trouya, Gros Islet before he possibly suspended himself by the neck. A medical practitioner pronounced him dead soon after his body was found. Burgham was sixty-seven years old and a British national living in Saint Lucia. From what neighbouring residents revealed to media, they were unsuspecting of Burgham’s suicidal intentions.
The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force press office indicated that investigations are currently ongoing concerning Burgham’s death. A post mortem was performed on his body on Monday December 4, 2017 but results were unavailable to the police at press time on Friday.
Police press relations officers did, however, offer the following remarks concerning the rising number of suicides nearing the end of the year: “The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force is very concerned about the loss of life in any form. We wish to sympathize with the families and friends of suicide victims and to encourage individuals to use the various agencies like the Crisis Centre, The National Wellness Centre, Human Services and the National Health Helpline as a means to getting assistance with whatever situation they are facing. Help is available for anyone who requires the assistance. Don’t stay silent but speak to someone who can help you.”