Media Sensitization Workshop on Responsible and Ethical Media Reporting on Suicide and Self Harm.

           A Media Sensitization workshop was held on the 7th March, 2017 at the Hilton Hotel. This was a collaboration which involved the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization.

          The first speaker Dr. Bernadette Theodore-Gandi's welcome address contained data on suicide rates.

          Dr. Roshan Parasram's speech touched on characteristics of depression and its relation to suicide. His findings also related that:

1.  Suicide is the highest common cause of death among young people worldwide.
2.  Trinidad and Tobago has the third highest suicide rate in the English speaking Caribbean, under Guyana and Suriname.

          Dr. Claudina Cayetano presented some measures to reduce the suicide rate globally such as better control of pesticides.

          Prof. Gerard Hutchinson expressed suicide's link to self harm and listed some reasons why individuals may attempt such an act.

            These speakers all related the need for the media to report such incidents responsibly.  The final speaker Dr. Reidenberg highlighted the media's role in the prevention of suicide.

In the days following this workshop, mental health care professionals, police and prison service representatives as well as the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Education will start to collectively develop a five-year National Suicide Prevention Plan.  In addition, they will work on a National Suicide Surveillance Plan.



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