Prominent pastor and Government Senator David Durant has called for more counsellors in the country’s schools in order to help students cope with the pressures that lead to suicidal tendencies.
Durant made the call on the day a St George man is believed to have taken his own life.
Police said the body of Davion Lucas, 27, of No 1 Walkers Valley, St George, was discovered around 6:15 a.m. at his home by a relative, and while a post mortem would have to be conducted to confirm the cause of death, they have not rule out suicide.
There were a number of suspected suicides last year, most of them by hanging. They included 12-year-old student Shemar Weekes, 44-year-old Police Constable Philip Greaves and 67-year-old Lester Dash, a former ancillary worker with the Royal Barbados Police Force.
Durant told Barbados TODAY he had seen a rise in the number of people with suicidal tendencies, many of whom had had traumatic experiences.
“We need to be more vigilant, more caring, and more discerning to people who are around us, who are going through trying situations. Many come to a place of feeling hopeless [and] insecure. Fear . . . is a very big factor in peoples lives if they are not employed and bills are mounting up all the time; if they have gone through some form of rejection like a broken relationship,” Durant told
“I am very concerned about it because there are quite a number of people who do come with thoughts like that as pressure increases, situations within the island turn in a negative direction [and] as people are pressured either due to abandonment, neglect, abuse, rejection, hurts, unemployment or whatever other situation that can trigger that in them mentally and emotionally.”
He also revealed that among those who went to his church seeking counselling for depression and thoughts of suicide were a growing number of young people, with the male to female ratio about even.
“I think there needs to be more . . . guidance counsellors [in schools]. Right now there is one guidance counsellor to a school [and] one guidance counsellor cannot handle a school of lets say 800 children. It is totally impossible. So we need a few more guidance counsellors in each of our schools to help our children cope with the fast pace of life,” he said.