Guyana Carries The Caribbean’s Highest Suicide Rate – WHO

The Guyana government says it has created a “strategic partnership” with the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) to increase awareness on the need to prevent suicides in the country.

Health Minister Dr. Bheri Ramsaran met with members of the IAC who presented their organisation’s initiative and explored the likeliness of a worthwhile partnership.

Dr. Ramasaran said that the Ministry of Health has been involved in several plans aimed at curbing suicides, including the training of persons.

He added that it is important that all stakeholders participate in the fight against suicides restating the Ministry’s commitment to working alongside organizations such as IAC, that have expressed interest in helping the country to deal with social issues.

On previous occasions, the IAC has demonstrated its willingness to lead and support any intervention regarding this issue. Due to an observation of the overwhelming increase in the incidents, the agency declared that suicide prevention was made a national priority. They also pointed out that the high rate of suicide also attracted a major news network that visited the country and produced a story highlighting the distressing trend.

The IAC believes that there is much that can be done and therefore reached out to the various government ministries with meaningful collaboration “to derive a plan of action which will lead to the provision of education through awareness and related counselling with the aim of reducing, and hopefully, eliminating incidents of suicides”.

Earlier this year, the government said a multi-sectoral approach was needed to deal with the number of suicides in the country. The World Health Organization also said this year that Guyana is listed in the top 10 most suicidal countries with its rate being the highest among the countries in the Caribbean.

So far this year, over 30 people have committed suicide, while there are still several that are recovering from failed attempts.

The IAC said that they will be hosting a walk on September 14 to highlight the issue and also urges all national, religious and non-governmental organisations to support the initiative “to heighten awareness about the need to prevent suicide”.

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