LA BREA – The Silver Lining Foundation (SLF) extends its deepest condolences to the family of 16-year-old Faith Gajadhar, who tragically ended her life on September 7th, 2016. Faith, a student of St Francois Girl’s College, had a bright and promising future ahead of her. This light has now been snuffed out and we grieve this loss with her peers, friends and her family.
The SLF is founded on the principle that young people can mobilize other youths to create and facilitate a support network for their peers. We aim to create a supportive, safe environment where people are free to be themselves and to lean on each other for support. Faith’s passing serves a call to action to begin creating safer spaces and seriously tackle mental health awareness.
There is no single cause for suicide. Suicide most times occurs when stressors exceed the current coping capabilities of someone with a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse.
Many people who suffer with suicidal thoughts often tines feel a deep sense of shame about themselves and about their situation(s). Faith’s untimely passing is an example of why there is need for the creation of safer spaces, especially for our youth. We must encourage open and honest dialogue – especially with our young people – and we must aggressively tackle the issue of mental health, not dismiss it as a “phase”. We must work together to build and protect our nation’s youth.
Persons who are seriously considering ending their lives, rather than acting impulsively, often display changes in behaviours. These behaviour changes may include increased bouts of sadness or depression, heightened emotional and social withdrawal, extreme mood swings, frequently talking about having no reason to live or feeling trapped or being a burden and increased aggression. The SLF reiterates that we must open the lines of communication and create safer spaces for open and honest dialogue about issues such as these in efforts to tackle them head-on.
We must remind each other that help is available. Treatment is available for suicide attempts, depression and other mental health disorders and for substance abuse. It is important to note that many people who actively address their mental health condition(s) lead fruitful and fulfilling lives.
If you or someone you know struggles with thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please talk with someone. If you feel like there is no one that you can talk to who will listen with compassion and respect, seek out suicide prevention lines to refer you to accessible resources or contact any of the following:
Childline (toll free, 24-Hours): (868) 800-4321
Lifeline (24-Hour): (868) 645-2800
Families in Action 24-Hour Hotline: 628-2333