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PHD speaks on World Suicide Prevention Day at UNPHU

PHD calls to be attentive to signs of depression and create hope through action. The Dominican Republic has a suicide rate of 6.5 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The Public Health Department, through the Department of Mental Health, reinforced  the awareness of the entire Dominican population to pay attention to the signs of depression that a family member or any person from the environment where they operate may present, and “break the silence and provide support to people who may be going through emotional situations, which endanger their integrity and the life of their family and relatives.” 

The observation was made by Dr. Alejandro Uribe, director of the Department of Mental Health, during an event commemorating September 10 as “World Suicide Prevention Day.” Uribe stressed that after a situation of catastrophe or calamity in humanity, such as pandemics, wars, among other situations, there tends to be an increase in the cases of suicides and not precisely during the crisis.

”The most common feeling are sadness, guilt, shame, frustration, hopelessness and anomie that is disintegration or isolation of the individual from society, and represent feelings that can lead people to make drastic decisions about their life,” Uribe said. He said that MISPAS continues to develop strategies to prevent deaths and ensure the well-being of citizens and urged to be attentive to a series of acts and expressions that should alert the family about parasitic behavior, and actions of injuries that cause death.

While Dr. Yocastia de Jesús, director of the vice-ministry of Collective Health, expressed that, “we have to commemorate this day to understand that this is one of the most worrying issues, that every life represents a member in the family and each one has a value no matter what led to this unfortunate event,” she said.

Carmen Martínez, representing the Pan American Health Organization said that this tragedy seriously affects families and communities; the number exceeds 700,000 per year.

“Indeed, every life is important, and every risk of suicide is preventable: social protection, education and culture, each one has a role, it is essential that we activate from each field prevention, listen, understand and show human attitude and facilitate access to professional services in the country,” said Martínez.

In addition, the Dean of Humanities of the Universidad nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña (UNPHU), Geisha Carpio, expressed that suicide is a problem of interest since every year more people in the world are impacted with this decision.

Causes 

The statistics establish that among the most common causes of suicide are passionate issues, health difficulties, economic problems, mental health and for unknown causes.

Signs of warning signs or suicidal behavior include behavioral changes or emotional ups and downs, constant sleep or insomnia, anxiety, depression, self-destructive behaviors, changes in eating, among others; whereas these behaviors also significantly affect the health of minors.

To respond to this situation, the Department of Health has increased the availability of mental health care services, outpatient consultations and follow-up for those who have treatments. The services are offered in different health centers.

Crisis Care Units

The Department of Health, through Mental Health and in coordination with the National Health Service (SNS), has been strengthening public policies to be implemented in health centers along with its crisis care units, with the goal of reducing the suicide rate in the Dominican Republic, one of the strategies implemented has been the training and hiring of psychiatrists, psychologists and specialized therapists.

The event took place on September 12, 2022, in the Max Henríquez Ureña Hall, Building IV.

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