The Society Against Sexual Orientation Dis-crimination (SASOD) held a vigil on Saturday on the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day at its office in Duncan Street under the theme ”Take A Minute, Change A Life.”
Hosted by SASOD’s Homophobia(s) Education Coordinator, Anil Persaud, a release from SASOD said that the ceremony kicked off at 5 pm with a rendition of “Stand Up For Love” by Keimo Benjamin. Guest speaker, attorney-at-law and Chairperson of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation Board of Directors, Kesaundra Alves, then drew attention to the seriousness of depression and mental illness.
“Survivors are crying out loudly for help and will only reach out for support if they feel safe and protected by the laws,” she stated.
The release said that the need for protection and security by laws and institutions for those battling with depression was underlined by the reading of the ‘suicide note’ left behind by former Board Secretary of SASOD and human rights and LGBT activist, Zenita Temall Nicholson.
The letter of turmoil encapsulating the futile efforts to reach out for help was read by founder and Managing Director of SASOD, Joel Simpson.
Members of the gathering took some time to voice their understanding and experiences of suicide. The event ended with the lighting of candles, a minute of silence for all the lives lost to suicide and a pledge to aid in the prevention of suicide.
SASOD meanwhile saw the installation of its first on-site counsellor who would be available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for counselling sessions.