June 23, 2021

Concern in Bahamas about the possibility of increased suicides after Dorian



The Bahamas authorities note with concern the possible increase in suicide cases following the passage of Hurricane Dorian through the Atlantic archipelago, where there is also concern about the increase in the incidence of posttraumatic stress and depression, among other diseases.

Bahamas Health Minister Duane Sands said Friday in radio statements that there is a real possibility of increased suicides among victims and even some of the first responders who participated in rescue operations.

Although he did not give figures, local media speculate that up to 10% of the 75,000 residents of the Abaco and Grand Bahamas, northwestern islands of the Atlantic archipelago devastated by the storm, may be at risk of suffering from such mental disorders.

Lawmaker Michael Foulkes revealed this week in the local parliament that many of the people who suffered the direct consequences of the hurricane needed antidepressants.

Sands said that what has been lived so far is only the tip of the iceberg, since you have to consider the number of people who have lost members of their families and the time it will take to overcome it.

Health officials involved in care work do not have a precise perception that they could also be affected by these mental problems, Sands said.

He said that anxiety, depression or any other problems could affect a number close to 7,500 people.

"There are a number of people who have been working for six weeks in a row, such as police officers, defense force officers and health services, individuals who may be affected," he said.

"This is not an ordinary event in the life of the Bahamas. To that is added stress," said Sands.

The official stressed that this is why efforts to combat this situation will have to increase.

"This is not a problem where we can relax now," he said.

According to government information in the last two weeks there have been at least two suicides in the areas affected by the hurricane, although more suicides have been recorded in the Atlantic archipelago this year than in the last seven.

Hurricane Dorian caused material damage of around 7,000 million dollars, according to official estimates.

The passage of the cyclone over the northwest of the Bahamas also led to the Government intensifying its pressure on immigrants in an irregular situation, mainly of Haitian origin.

(tagsToTranslate) Concern (t) Bahamas (t) possibility (t) suicides (t) Dorian



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