by Delicia Fletcher
Speak out, Reach out.
This is the theme of the Government’s collaborative initiative on Suicide prevention. And it is hoped that at the end of today’s (April 6) multi-stakeholder forum, policy makers would have a clearer idea on an inclusive plan to tackle suicide and attempted suicide locally.
In the words of Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton “suicide is everyone’s business” and Guyanese need to work together to tackle this scourge.
Speaking on statistics, PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr William Adu Krow, pointed out that in Guyana the numbers show that for every 100 thousand persons, 44.2 commit suicide but Dr. Adu Krow is confident that the situation is not all “gloom and doom” for Guyana as the current figures are in fact a reduction prior to 2012.
However, PAHO/WHO figures from 2012, still remain a point of concern with Guyana’s population representing a mere 0.01 percent of the world population but making up 0.03 percent of those who committed suicide.
Which is why, Dr. Adu Krow today urged stakeholders to use the forum to determine what will be done, but who the players are, their specific roles and the course content they will be working from.
Similar sentiments were expressed by President David Granger, who noted that while several Non-Governmental Organisations and individuals, both locally and in the diaspora have reached out, the strategies to prevent suicide must be concerted, inclusive and multi-disciplinary with a practical implementation plan.
In the Head of State’s opinion, “persons are not mad” but he also believes that happy people do not commit suicide and any remedies to be implemented must be based on research and investigation and “must include improving people’s ability to cope with their problems.”