[www.inewsguyana.com] – Hundreds of Guyanese have called on the relevant authorities to declare suicide an urgent health/psychological problem in Guyana.
During iNews’ weekly poll for the period Sunday, April 6 through Saturday, April 12 participants were asked: “Do you think that suicide should be declared an urgent health/psychological problem in Guyana by the authorities?”
Ninety two percent of the respondents were in agreement while seven percent were against and a mere one percent was undecided.
The Guyana Police Force released statistics in January which showed that Guyana recorded a total of 111 suicides countrywide in 2013.
Suicide claimed 82 lives on the Essequibo Coast in 2013 while 36 occurred in Region Six – the two leading geographical areas for such cases.
Already for 2014 there have been several cases which show an apparent surge in the act. This has triggered calls from several religious and social bodies for urgent action to be taken.
A previous poll by this news agency saw the majority (79%) of respondents agreeing that the various religious groups in Guyana can play a greater role in suicide prevention.
In a follow up, iNews sat down with two members of the Inter-Religious Organization of Guyana to get their outlook on the topic. Ironically, these two Devout Leaders also believe that religious bodies must take a more active approach in addressing the situation.
The duo registered their concern with the prevalence of such acts in the Guyanese society. They say the national strategy seems to be failing, adding that failure has resulted from the lack of trained and experience persons.
The main opposition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) had also urged the People’s Progressive Party Government to take the lead in tackling the issue.
Meanwhile, the administration – Ministry of Human Services and Social Security – recently visited schools in Berbice where awareness was raised. Plans are also afoot to visit school countrywide soon.