Statement from the St. Kitts Mental Health Association (SKMHA)

The St. Kitts Mental Health Association (SKMHA) wishes to use this medium to address the unfortunate and violent death of two young women in our St. Kitts community.

The Association is keenly aware of the fact that traumatic incidents like this impact the entire federation, and that a part of understanding and processing tragedies such as this involves talking, telling and re-telling of personal impact, listening to the views of others, and that for most individuals, the natural tendency is to empathize (put themselves in the shoes of the people affected by the tragedy) and to respond with the range of emotions that comes from that act of empathizing.

Consequently, expressions of disbelief, numbness, anger, bewilderment, confusion and extreme sadness are examples of the varying range of emotions that people may feel as they seek to come to terms with the tragedy. Whatever the personal effect of the tragedy on one’s mental state and one’s own views as to causation, the Association urges that a general atmosphere of respect, sensitivity and empathy to ALL impacted, be the measuring tools by which persons frame their language and outward expressions as they continue to process what has happened.

While our need to understand the genesis of and circumstances surrounding this unfortunate situation may contribute to broad based discussions and questioning in society, it is absolutely necessary that we keep in mind the hurting and devastated families, peers and social communities that have to manage this sad reality. Therefore, the Association again stresses that we as a community, remain keenly aware of the fact that our support and caring, our empathy and concern, our interest in the well being of the intimate world of the impacted families, are crucial at this time.

Let our words and our actions, our sensitivity with words and references be the things that guide us as we all grieve our young women.