We need more psychologists, says Mental Health Coordinator, Eleanor Bennett
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 16, 2018– When 7-year-old Antwone Marin committed suicide in Seine Bight earlier this month, it shocked the nation and led to a lot of questions. Perhaps the most resounding question has to be: how could a child that young develop the desire and intention to end his own life?
Turning for answers to the haunting questions that remain in the aftermath of that disturbing suicidal act, we asked psychiatric nurse, Eleanor Bennett, who is the Mental Health Coordinator at the Ministry of Health, for comment.
“We don’t normally get them that young,” she said. “It’s very rare. I won’t say that it never happens. It has happened, obviously. But it’s very rare that you get children that young committing suicide,” she remarked. Bennett said that statistics at the Ministry of Health show cases of suicide by children as young as 12 years old.
We asked Bennett about the kind of counseling services the Ministry of Health provided, and is providing, for the family of Antwone.
Bennett, after noting that that is not her department, went on to say, “but we have offered our services, and the Department of Human Services is still investigating the case. We don’t want to bombard them, but there is an open invitation for them to come and talk to a counselor.”
We asked Bennett how Belize compares, from a mental health standpoint, with the rest of countries in the region.
“The only solid numbers we have are for suicides, and why we have numbers for that is because every suicide has to be recorded,” Bennett said.