By BBN Staff: The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) today issued a statement joining the Seine Bight community in mourning the passing of the seven-year-old boy who allegedly committed suicide on August 6.
NCFC expressed condolences to the family of the child.
NCFC says that while it is unthinkable for many that a child could take his own life, statistics from the Epidemiology Unit within the Ministry of Health reveal that between 2012-2016, 15 children aged ten to fourteen years old committed suicide.
It is therefore important to remember that Article 19 of the CRC underscores that children are to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, which extends to both body and mind. ‘Hurt’ is not only physical, it can be psychological as our children are exposed to trauma-inducing abuses and experiences and can also suffer from mental illness and depression.
NCFC urges parents to listen to their children and take seriously any demonstration of self-hurt or depression and seek assistance from a counselor.
Parents are also reminded to monitor their children and to flag any signs that could lead to self-harm.
“ As a society, we must do our part to end the stigma against depression and mental illness, which acts as a barrier for persons to seek life-saving psychological and psychiatric help,” the committee explained.
Furthermore, the NCFC calls for a thorough investigation of this incident by both the Police Department and the Department of Human Services and commends the Ministry of Human Development for its sponsorship of training on “suicide prevention in youth” for social workers, youths and community workers across Belize.