The establishment of a Mental Health Secretariat, to be built in Quamina Street, Georgetown, will see better coordination of mental health related services, interventions and policies.
During the 2016 National Budget presentation, Finance Minister Winston Jordan pointed out that, ‘The rising incidence of suicide is raising an alarm,” hence the Government’s intervention in tackling this issue. According to a GINA media release, the sum of $16.3 M was approved for this Secretariat.
The Government has promised that suicide and depression, which are forms of mental illness, will receive the much needed attention after the completion of the secretariat.
“A multi-stakeholder approach will be taken, and this will see the commencement of a commission of inquiry and the development of an emergency suicide prevention action plan. This plan will see the gathering of data to establish a baseline for monitoring and evaluation. Data collection and research will include gathering epidemiological statistics, demographic information, and research on driving factors contributing to designated rates per region”, GINA added.
Further, an analysis will be done at the regional and national levels, including maps and profiles for targeted interventions. This plan will entail training for secondary school teachers and students, to allow them to be able to identify signs of suicide.