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Spotlight on mental health: Student survey highlights concerns

Industry professionals continue to digest the last figures from the recent student drug survey.
Data shows one out of three high schoolers has thought about suicide.
For professionals like Dr. Marc Lockhart, it cements what they are witnessing.
Jada Ramoon is no stranger to the spotlight.
Behind the smile of the reigning Imperial Beauty teen, has a secret.

“I have dealt with anxiety and depression for a long time. It started when I was about sixteen years old.”

She said she doesn’t know why she started having dark thoughts.

“I was an avid athlete, I was a runner and I didn’t want to even run anymore, I did not want to be around anyone,” said Ms. Ramoon.

She said after she was rushed to the emergency room with a severe panic attack, she knew she needed help.

“I will never be the same Jada I was before all of my issues, but I have become a stronger Jada who does have a bright future,” she said.

The recently released student drug use survey found that nearly 250 high-schoolers admitted they have tried to take their life.
Dr. Lockhart said this stresses a need for public administrators and policymakers to step in and assist students in dealing with the problems they are facing.

“We need to underscore the severity of what is happening, in that, there are increases in terms of the burden that young people feel that they are going through,” Mental Health Commission chairman Dr. Marc Lockhart said.

While he is not surprised by the data collected, he is troubled that only 5 percent of those who attempted suicide sought help.

“When we hear these statistics and remember this is not just mental health this is our social fabric, this is going to be our future,” said

Ms. Ramoon hopes that those who are in pain will seek the help they need, like she did.

“Never be afraid to speak to someone,” she said.
And she’s counting on everyone to take mental health at all ages seriously.

A psychiatric hub at the Cayman Islands hospital is in the works to help give students support.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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