The Gender Affairs Committee of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) today extended sympathies to the family of 16-year-old Chante Yarde, who was found hanging from a rafter at her Brittons Hill home last night.
Police say the teen’s body was reportedly discovered by her mother.
“At this time our prayers are with the Family, that God Almighty with strengthen them during their time of grief,” NUPW Gender Affairs chairwoman, Makala Beckles-Jordan said in a statement.
According Beckles-Jordan, the issue of child/teen suicide is one of great concern, as the youth are in need of high levels of guidance and positive contributors in their lives at all times.
“While we understand that teen suicide is a growing health concern, it is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24, we in Barbados can safely say this is not the case [in] our country, with only four child/teen suicide cases in a span of 12 years, but that number is still too large,” she said.
She noted that Barbados has introduced a number of suicide prevention initiatives, including school programmes, crisis centre hotlines, and screening programmes that seek to identify at-risk adolescents. There are also media guidelines which include suicide prevention strategies that involve educating professionals across the country, hosted by the Psychiatric Hospital.
“Every child has the right to speak out without fear of victimization or ridicule from parents, guardians or society. A safe atmosphere must be created whether it be at school, home or in general society, and this atmosphere must be maintained at all times to ensure that our children can feel comfortable speaking about issues affecting them,” Beckles-Jordan said.
She also encouraged parents, teachers and guardians to take the time to listen to their children, give the child a chance to speak without fear, and be active in the child’s life as much as possible.