Steve Jugmohan and Sharlene Ramkissoon

suicide pact: Steve Jugmohan and Sharlene Ramkis­soon were found dead in their Princes Town home by one of their five children last Saturday.

The child who alerted relatives that couple Steve Jugmohan and Sharlene Ramkissson had committed suicide at their Princes Town home has been staying with family, away from the scene of the incident.

Jugmohan’s sister, Sharon Jugmohan, told the Express yesterday that the nine-year-old girl has been with Ramkissoon’s relatives.

“I think it’s safer for her to be by them, away from here for the while. I didn’t want her to be here because of the situation that happened here and she was here… Every time she watches that door she’s going to remember,” Sharon Jugmohan said.

The bodies of Steve Jugmohan, 40, and Ramkisssoon, 38, who lived together at the La Paille Road home of his relatives, were found before noon on Saturday. Sharon Jugmohan, who lived upstairs, was told by the child that they were dead.

Two videos with the couple have been circulating of social media. Jugmohan said in one of them, the couple said they were in problems and while they asked for help, nobody assisted. They also asked for their children’s grandparents to take care of them and said their (the couple’s) possessions were for their children.

Apart from the couple’s daughter and five-year-old son, Jugmohan also had a 16-year-old daughter and Ramkissoon’s two other sons live abroad. The nine-year-old child was around in the video which has been reviewed by the police.

Sharon Jugmohan said she has been in contact with the child, who was also visited by officials from the Children’s Authority. Acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob, who met with the family after the incident, also promised counselling for the girl and her younger brother.

The boy, who has a hole in his heart, has been staying with Jugmohan, who said she has no intention of separating the children and they will be in contact with both sides of their family.

“Both of them are safe and both of them okay,” she said.

In an interview last weekend, Jugmohan said although after the incident the family was told the couple may have had financial issues, the couple did not indicate this to her. She said she questioned her brother when he sold two of his vehicles but did not give much details.

Ramkissson worked as a Play Whe booth operator and Steve Jugmohan at times did private jobs with his maxi.

Jugmohan said while the couple kept to themselves, there was no indication that they were thinking of ending their lives.

Jugmohan and Ramkissoon’s bodies were identified by their relatives at the Forensic Science Centre in Federation Park yesterday. Autopsies are expected to be done tomorrow, following the results of Covid-19 tests.

Increase in suicides

Psychiatrist Dr Varma Deyalsingh yesterday told the Express that an increase in suicides and depression will be seen as it follows the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is something we have been anticipating. We describe it as a pandemic within a pandemic. Mental illness is the new global pandemic which we need to prepare for… The World Health Organization stated depression would be the second highest cause of morbidity worldwide,” Deyalsingh said.

He added that the couple’s pact was one where they felt they would get out of their misery and it was very fortunate that they did not also hurt their children.

“Some people feel that what is the sense of living, let me take my children with me to get away from this harsh, hard world. This is something we are very lucky that they didn’t go that way.”

He added that while people may be wondering why a video was made, it would be similar to instances when people left behind written notes. He said the new pattern is for people to leave videos on social media.

“The video could serve to show the world what they planned to do, the video could also give an explanation as why they were doing it.”

Deyalsingh also said that the video could have been posted in the hope that they got help for the children left behind.

He said when people feel helpless, they must be given hope and added that the ministries of Health, Social Development and Labour all have to work together to provide assistance.

He also said that family members and friends have to reach out and offer support and also find that support through the ministries for them as not all those who need the help will reach out.

He added that there must be social media promotions to advise people where they can get help.

Anyone in need of emotional support can contact Lifeline at 645-2800, 800-5588, 866-5433 or 220-3636.

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