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A Candlelight Vigil for Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Sep 8, 2023

A Candlelight Vigil for Suicide Awareness and Prevention

September tenth is the annual Commemoration of the Battle of Saint George’s Caye.  It is also World Suicide Prevention Day.  In Belize City on Thursday night, a candlelight vigil was held in front of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital to remember loved ones who have taken their own lives.  It is also used to raise awareness about suicide and its prevention.  We joined the vigil and spoke with psychiatric nurse Ingrid Bonilla.

Ingrid Bonilla

Ingrid Bonilla, Psychiatric Nurse

“Tonight, we are doing an activity that reminds us that in life there is always hope, and this activity is based on the current events of World Suicide Prevention Day.  So every year, on September tenth, we celebrate World Suicide Prevention Day and we have activities that lead up to this day.  For this year, this event that we are doing tonight is the candle light vigil, in order for us to remember that we have lost loved ones to suicide and for those families who are actually thinking of their loved ones that they’ve lost.  Some people go through that on a daily basis, remembering their loved ones, and we also have those who are currently thinking of it.  So we want for them to know that we’re here.  We are here to support them, there is hope.  As long as there is life, we want to preserve that life as much as possible and so, as mental health professionals, we try to do things for them to understand that yes, we know you are here and we are listening. For our flag raising, the purpose of the flag raising is to have something that actually represents World Suicide Prevention Day and this flag we raise, actually nationally, we do it in all our districts.  So you will find that at the district hospitals or at the clinics that they have a flag that’s been raised.  For this year, why we chose Karl Heusner, we work hand in hand with Karl Heusner.  This is the institution where you’ll find that those who have attempted will come, this is the institution for those who have completed, may end up.  So, as a result of that, this is the reason why we chose this institution to show that we want to continue our collaboration and support.”