[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Health will soon launch a ‘Mental Health Council’ to assist in the fight against suicide. The council will comprise of recognized religious communities and other stakeholders from society.
This was disclosed by Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran at a walk organized by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) on Sunday, September, 21, which commenced at Lamaha and Light Streets and ended at the Square of the Revolution.
Minister Ramsaran also disclosed that, earlier this year, over 200 nurses received specialist training via a UK trained specialist mental health nurse. One hundred and fifty persons drawn from the Health Ministry, Guyana Police Force, Prison Service and the Social Services Ministry, have also been trained to address those who need assistance to cope with issues that may lead to suicide. Participants were also urged to “reach out and stay connected” with those who may be depressed.
Minister Ramsaran said that the campaign will “stretch across several ministries” to ensure more participation. He stated that whilst all Guyanese are potential victims of suicide and suicidal behavior, studies have shown that certain groups within society are more prone to commit the act.
He added that the ministry will be working with the IAC and other stakeholders in suicide prevention efforts. The IAC had earlier called for suicide prevention to be a national priority.
A call was made by the Pan American Health Organization Resident Representative Dr. William Adu-Krow, to reduce access to the commonly used pesticides, employed by many to commit suicide. This can be done in partnership with the Agriculture Ministry, along with the Education Ministry to educate the high risk groups such as those between ages 20 to 45years.
Executive Member of the IAC, Neaz Subhan, in brief remarks he said that the IAC wants suicide to be declared a national priority, with the resultant discussions and planned strategy to provide help and a mechanism to assist those with tendencies
The World Health Organization (WHO) in its first global report on suicide prevention revealed that Guyana is the country with the highest estimated suicide rate for 2012 globally with Suriname ranking as the sixth highest.