Minister wants better discussion on mental health following alleged murder-suicide

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Bharat_Kumar

Gender Affairs Minister Samantha Marshall has called for more open discussions on mental health issues in the country after an apparent murder-suicide over the weekend.

In expressing her heartfelt condolences to both families, Marshall said the fight against intimate partner violence, and other forms of gender-based violence, is not one that can be won solely by raising awareness.

“Not only does this highlight the tragic death of this young mother but also the mental health challenges plaguing our communities. These issues which have been stigmatized for so long require desperate and immediate attention. Like intimate partner violence, challenges in mental health are both public health concerns,” the minister said in a statement released today.

She said mental health challenges range from depression to schizophrenia and also range in different levels of severity. In some cases, an individual may be unable to recognize symptoms of their deteriorating mental health, or is unable to access the appropriate care and services to help manage their symptom due the stigma that is attached to this concern.

In some instances, treatable symptomologies when untreated can escalate. At their most severe, these issues can manifest as homicidal ideations, suicidal ideations, or other forms of violence and self-harm,” the minister added.

“Individuals who struggle with mental health issues face not only an internal battle, but must also navigate the public stigma which often prevents them from reaching out for support even from friends, family and loved ones. We must change this view. We must reframe the national dialogue around mental health and remove the stigma surrounding accessing mental health support services in order to empower those who are struggling to access the help they need,” she said.

Gender Affairs Minister Samantha Marshall

Marshall says we must ensure that there are adequate and appropriate healthcare services to meet the needs of our population. While support and counselling services are available through my ministry for women, men, children and families, there still exists a great need for increased services for mental healthcare and support nationwide.

She said the government of Antigua and Barbuda is moving towards strengthening its human resource and capacity to provide increased, affordable and accessible mental healthcare services for the population across all age groups and particularly among our youth.

“The deaths of Lotoya Craig and Bharat Kumar are indeed a national tragedy. As we mourn let us move with urgency and purpose, taking all necessary action to ensure that our nation never sees a day as dark as this one again,” the gender affairs minister said.

The Ministry of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development, Youth and Gender Affairs has been providing support to the child and family. 

In addition, the Directorate of Gender Affairs and the Family and Social Services offer care and support to all victims of intimate partner violence and children who are impacted.

The range of services include; case management, child services, advocacy, referral services, safety planning, medical assistance, police intervention and crisis counselling and psycho-social support through the Antigua Barbuda Support and Referral Centre.

The centre is located on the corner of Nevis Street and Friendly Alley for walk-in visits or you can contact the 24/7 crisis hotline at 463-5555.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Antigua has certainly become Americanize in so many ways. When a black man commits a murder it is called out for what it is. When a white or indian person commits what is nothing short of being a murder there are questions regarding mental health.

  2. I dnt have all the details of how the deceased was either murdered b4 hanging or hanged but what is clear she has died….condolences go out to her IMMEDIATE FAMILY & FRENS….

    I want to jus say this these doulas(Caribbean Indians) especially from Guyana&Trinidad when a women leaves them / cheats on them the 1st thing they do is go in any backyard and hang themselves its a norm for them to do this …..SO SPATE ME THE MENTAL SICKNESS ABUSE….
    Go look at their news or ask anyone from these countries they will tell you that its a normal behavior.

    Also they are very meticulous ……they lure their victims to its premeditated MURDER ….NOT MENTAL SICKNESS…..

    I bring to remembrance the same situation happened 30 yrs ago when the TRINIDADIAN PILOT MURDERED DR.RAMSEY’S niece …..lured her from church to the south side of the island and MURDER her b cos she left him….

    Its a dammmmmm pattern …NOT mental issues ….

    • so because it’s a norm somewhere else means that is not a form of mental sickness? People just start to kill themselves and lovers out of the clear blue ??? WOW it is MENTAL SICKNESS carried down and passed down for generations, yes these things EXIST do your research. Not making excuses he was wrong but if we disregard this as a mental sickness i fear that it wont get better. How do we begin to address the people who think this way then ? Are we going to wait until more murders happen and just JAIL THEM?? OH WAIT we cant because they killing themselves TOO!! Should we not start form the root of the issues ? more ppl will die if we all think this way SMH

      • @This is sad your sad as FCK……

        This sad pathetic looser scoped out the place where he intended to MURDER HER you called that mental illness….

        Then he lured her…….you called that mental illness

        Then he did jus what he planned then he hanged himself …STUPID YOU STILL CALLING IT ……MENTAL ILLNESS …or a cold hearted MURDERER…

        MAYBE YOUR THE ONE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS CALL.ED …. retardedness….and I’m done ….ITCH GO GET HELP

        • Please go and do some research, close this tab open google and find some sites that speak on this type of behavior and do some serious research … I asked what do you suggest to make the problem better ??? NO ANSWER. But I’m a retard ? ANSWER; How do we stop things like this from happening tell us the public and Minister, since you KNOW for sure is not mental illness. Am I supposed to take people who can’t reason and respond with insults serious ? Poor thing, open your mind. Go read a book or several rather it will help your vocab; you’ll find more words to support your arguments.

  3. Why is Dr. Singh ignoring Latoya’s family and giving their names to police saying how they are harassing him? apparently he promised to help, but is now going back on his word. I guess he does not want to be associated in any way with this heinous crime. I do not know which DR. SINGH, but that is what I heard being reported on the radio

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