The Biggest mental health issue in Trinidad & Tobago

suicideThe biggest mental health issue facing Trinidad & Tobago is the high suicide rate of men. Trinidad and Tobago has one of the highest rates in the region only second to Guyana and are among the highest in the Commonwealth. These figures have been on the increase in the past few decades. What is being ignored is that this appears to be a problem affecting men mainly as the rates for women are either stable or diminishing. But what we have is a plethora of misinformation from mental health professionals who diminish the problem. Gerrard Hutchinson from the UWI who have published papers on Paraquat use in suicide often recites the nonsensical statement “although more men commit suicide, more women attempt”. This is an often repeated feminists driven statement to distract from the problem men face in society, presumably to take away from the problem and direct resources to women. There is no standard way to measure “attempted suicide” – who measures this? What constitutes attempted suicide – the statement is nonsensical at best. The problem with Trinidad is that while the worldwide difference in male to female suicide is typically 2.5 to 3 times, Trinidad has a achieved 5:1 in male to female suicide. That should be a real eyeopener for anyone discussing mental health or suicide, but in Trinidad its not.  Go through every article in the recent newspapers on so called Mental Health awareness that mentions suicide and you will NOT see this fact stated clearly as something that has to be addressed unless it has that silly caveat – “but the women attempt it more”.  Other than the fact that mental health disorders are not based on a scientific foundation of knowledge and understanding,  the field is incredibly sexist. That’s a fact.



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