Statement – Re: Passing of Barry Ragoo
The Silver Lining Foundation (SLF) extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Barry Ragoo of Chagauans, who is being laid to rest today, December 12th, after tragically taking his own life.
Barry, a devout Hindu, was full of life. His friends describe him as “always smiling”. He had a bright future ahead of him; now, we grieve the loss of this gifted young man with his peers, friends and family.
There is no single cause for suicide; persons who are truly considering ending their lives often display changes in behaviours. We are reminded to observe these behaviour changes that may include increased bouts of sadness, depression or aggression, heightened emotional and social withdrawal, frequent talking about having no reason to live or feeling trapped or being a burden.
Barry’s struggle and eventual passing serves a reminder that there is a fundamental need for families to foster a relationship of trust, honesty and open communication with their loved ones. We must recognise that our country’s approach to mental health awareness and treatment is a key hindrance to people, especially our youth, reaching their fullest potential. Seeking help does not imply that you are weak; it only demonstrates that you recognize the strength of your will to live.
The SLF has and will continue to encourage persons to seek out help if they believe that they suffer from mental health conditions and suicidal ideations. We also encourage persons to reach out to just talk. Sometimes we feel that we can carry burdens alone, or that our friends may find us burdensome if we share pur problems with them. Find someone whom you trust and open up to them. This tragedy reminds us that we society must do more to encourage the development and sustainability of safer spaces to have open and honest dialogue. We must remind each other that help is available. We must remind each other that we are not alone. Everyone is fighting their own internal battle. We must collectively work to encourage and safeguard each other, especially our nation’s youth. We must inspire each other to live authentically and remind one another that treatment is available and further encourage them to seek these forms of treatment for suicidal ideations and suicide attempts, depression and other mental health disorders. 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, rather than dismiss it as simply “problems” or a “phase”.
Barry’s passing acts as a call to action to begin the groundwork for the creation of safer spaces and to take a serious and active role in tackling mental health and suicide prevention awareness. Mental health is not a matter that should be taken lightly, but one that should be seriously a fully explored, as far too many people, sadly, battle with the ills of mental health. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost someone who has lost their battle with some variant of a mental health condition. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are also with those, like Barry, who have passed on due to the loss of that internal battle. May his soul find and rest in eternal peace.
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
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-7283