In light of the rising suicide and attempted suicide rates in Guyana, Regional authorities in the county of Essequibo are calling for the Government to take urgent action, both at the regional and national levels to address the scourge.
Chairman of Region Two, Devanand Ramdatt is of the view that it is necessary to implement a ‘National Policy’ which will seek to address social issues/ problems residents are currently faced with, as this will help in intensifying the fight against suicide in the country.
He told Inews that his Regional Democratic Council (RDC) has noted with deep concern the increase in suicide attempts in Essequibo since the beginning of 2016 and therefore this issue should be urgently addressed.
Ramdatt explained that there is need for a scientific study and assessment to be conducted within the various communities in Essequibo to identify the ‘root causes’ and offer strategic recommendations to address suicide in Region Two.
“There is also need for parenting forums, more community-based outreaches and a review with the aim of strengthening our education system and schools’ curriculum delivery…professionals in youth development, social work and mental health need to be appointed…we also need to have law enforcement authorities address the distribution, sale and consumption of illegal substances,” the Chairman posited.
Ramdatt also pointed out that faith-based, community-based and Non-Governmental Organisations along with other stakeholders should develop relevant, well co-ordinated programmes to address the social ill of suicide.
According to him, the present situation in the rice industry has created a downturn in Essequibo’s economy, with over 80 per cent of the region’s population relying heavily on the rice industry.
“This situation has led to a great deal of uncertainty and hopelessness within the region; which, if not urgently addressed by the Government at a national level can result in further devastation,” he added.