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Youth mental health survey: One third considered suicide

The results are in for the country’s most recent student drug survey and one local psychologist is concerned for young people whom she says are in need of desperate help.
This after nearly 250 high-schoolers admits they have attempted to take their life.

One in three students who took part in last year’s student drug use survey has considered suicide.

“We need to take suicide seriously, because there are young people out there actually crying for help,” said Dr. Erica Lam.

1775 students took part in the mental health section of the survey.

A third of them said they considered taking their life while a further tenth actually attempted.

Dr. Lam is a clinical consultant at the Alex Panton Foundation and she said the report a warning we that can no longer ignore the signs in students.

“Whether that is going silent, whether that is isolation. Whether that is acting out, being very aggressive or being very angry, irritable, or being very low. They are data for us to actually ask follow-up questions,” said Dr. Lam.
More than half the students say they have been bullied, while a quarter said they self-harm.
For Dr. Lam these numbers confirm what her industry has been seeing for years.

“Because we know already, but what is shocking is to have it in black and white numbers.”

Dr. Lam said the time is now to make sure safety nets are in place to catch those who are suffering before it is too late.

She said the survey findings will be turned over to the government to consider policy changes.

Read the findings:

Alex Panton Foundation announces Mental Health Data at the 2nd Annual Youth Mental Health Symposium

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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