[www.inewsguyana.com] – As the world observed Suicide Prevention Day, a 14 – year – old boy hung himself inside his parents’ garage on September 10, 2015.
Dead is Joshua Beepat also called ‘Jags’ of Third Street, Rose Hall Town, Corentyne, Region Six; he was discovered hanging in the garage by a rope from the neck by his mother at approximately 04:00 hrs.
Initially, the family was at a loss as to what might have led the teenager to commit such an act; however his father, Ramnauth Beepat, eventually found out that his son was embarrassed by a teacher at the Lower Corentyne Secondary School earlier in the week after he reportedly touched a female classmate inappropriately.
According to the distraught father, the teacher scolded his son in front his classmates, who then began teasing him for quite some time and if that wasn’t enough, the child was further embarrassed during the school’s Assembly when the teacher spoke about the issue.
The family is calling on the Ministry of Education to investigate the report, pointing out that although they are hurt and upset at the loss of their son, they do not want another child to face a similar situation.
iNews understands that Regional Officials visited the family and promised to investigate the report.
On Thursday, Junior Minister of Public Health, Dr Karen Cummings called for the media to play a more proactive role in creating awareness on suicide as well as putting the spot light on preventative measures.
The Minister, who was at the time speaking a forum in Black Bush Polder, East Berbice pointed out that according to information obtained from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the suicide rate worldwide is 7.3 per every 100,000 persons.
Whereas, in Guyana it is 44.2 per 100,000 persons, making it the country with the highest suicide rate in the world. This according to her is “absolutely unacceptable…and our government, my government, your government, our government is committed to working on this problem”.
The Minister also pointed out that studies have proven that farming areas usually have the highest suicide rates, since pesticides and chemicals are easily accessible. Further, she noted that it has also been noted that the victims are often of East Indian decent.
Minister Cummings further highlighted that the Ministry is working along with several partners to create a policies and documentations to guide the approach towards reducing suicide in Guyana.