Police Force still working on establishing Suicide Hotline

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By Leroy Smith

Acting Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud. [iNews' Photo]
Acting Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Commissioner of Police (ag), Seelall Persaud says the Police Force is working diligently with the various stakeholders to roll out a suicide hotline and that due care and diligence will be exercised to ensure that the Force gets it right the first time.

The Top Cop said that counselors both from the Police Force and other agencies are on board, while training is ongoing. He further explained that discussions will be held with the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) to make the lines available.

He also added that there are some employment issues which need to be looked into and that should be ironed out within two weeks. Seelall, while addressing a gathering yesterday morning (Thursday, September 04) at the launch of the Guyana Police Force Community Service Chaplaincy Training, told the Faith based representatives, junior and senior ranks of the Force that the hotline will be in place to accommodate depressed persons.

Those answering the calls are not expected to be police officers in the interim but also persons who are trained and know how to deal with such cases. Once the calls are received and the area the call comes from is determined, the police in the area would be informed and are expected to move to the location either with a counselor from the Force or a representative from the faith based organisations.

The World Health Organisation (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.

According to the report, “Suicide rates in this Region show a first peak among the young, remain at the same level for other age groups and rise again in elderly men. In high-income countries, hanging accounts for 50% of suicides, and firearms are the second most common method, accounting for 18% of suicides.”

The WHO further noted that the relatively high proportion of suicides by firearms in high-income countries is primarily driven by high-income countries in the Americas where firearms account for 46% of all suicides; in other high-income countries firearms account for only 4.5% of all suicides.

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